Changing the world Part II

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Changing the world Part II

When we start out in our working lives, perhaps in our twenties, we think we can sort things out, change the world, make things better in our lifetime. Our desire is based on our ideals. We seek a better world, we want better for others. In a shifting world of morals and values the change we seek is mostly to stability and security in a better environment for ourselves and others.

It is laudable to wish better for others, for our world. The deep seated interest in change is natural and if used for good can make a wonderful difference to people in the world. Just think of those who have done work that has improved our lives. This might also include scientists, social workers, etc.. In the past I encountered many people, of all ages from 20 something to a couple in their early 80s working in central Africa. Everyone wanted to help in some way. This was and is in education, business, farming practices, medicine.

Sometimes this work bears fruit immediately and we can see real change in peoples lives. I think of the “dip tank” installed at Chikankata Secondary School in Zambia. It was for the school farm to dip the cattle to protect from disease and tsetse flies. For the school cattle there was an immediate use and protection for the food supply. Governor and national representatives came, local community leaders and the chief came for the opening ceremony and symbolic “dip” of the first cow. The excitement was palpable. Great cheers erupted from the throng as the cow came out of the tank wet and a bit frightened.

But the dip tank became part of the community around the school. Through it better farming practices were disseminated. Often great things in lives begin in small ways. It is more than likely a lot of small things together that make us great in one way or another. And makes us the people we are. We are capable of so much, if we let ourselves do what we are great at, and encourage others to do the same.

Sometimes this works and we have influence. And other times it may never be seen. Our influence on the world and the people around us goes unnoticed, unseen. But have to trust that something good will come of what we have done and offered.

Sometimes though, by the time we get to the point in our lives where we could make a change in the lives around us, we realize that we really have not been able to influence anything and haven’t changed anything or anybody. That may be what we see, but we are not able to see everything or every change made along the way, because we have experience and knowledge that has more value than when we began. So we simply continue to grow and seek to influence lives for the Good. And we search for ways to be better people ourselves. Change begins there. Growth begins there. And our world changes with us.



We all need to be willing to work towards being the person with the broader shoulders. I walked away hurt and angry. I thought I would not be willing to enter into a conversation like that again. But that won’t help in the long run. And after spending time reflecting on what I experienced, I knew I would have to face the same again one day. And would just have to find kinder means and thicker skin on behalf of the truth.

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Religious Education and the Future

We send our children to catechism (or Sunday School) for a very good reason, to learn the faith we know ourselves. But this early formation cannot be seen as anything more than a beginning. This may not be the case everywhere, but it is a growing crisis in the Church as I see it. And we are all part of the transmission of the faith from one generation to the next.

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