GK Chesterton famously gave this two-word answer to a British newspaper that asked many famous writers this age-old question: What is wrong with the world?
I haven’t written much lately, at least not formally on my blog. It’s been a busy time and my recreation has been restricted mostly to catatonia and Netflix, with the occasional Little House on the Prairie re-run. Yes, life is busy for everyone, and my life has been quite busy. Sick siblings, new siblings, new diseases, and an excruciatingly limiting new diet that ironically take up loads of my time.
Work has been my most constant companion. I like work. I was made to work. It’s my love language. But this has been a hard time in particular.
It’s a challenge not to wallow in hard circumstances, for anyone. If you lose your job, it’s hard not to wallow. If you get sick or have a significant medical event, it’s hard not to wallow. If you feel underappreciated, it’s hard not to wallow.
Some of my recent circumstances have made me contemplate on the human tendency to wallow, to play the victim. If you suddenly find yourself curating hate mail for a living, it’s hard not to wallow. If you are forced to lay off 100+ employees, it’s hard not to wallow (and even harder if you are one of the laid off employees). If you’ve had to divert your personal funds for emergency needs of others, it’s hard not to wallow.
I think if we all returned to the question posed to Chesterton and his equally important answer, we might turn a corner on all this “wallowing.”
I am the problem.
You are the problem.
If I don’t stand up for those who are marginalized but rather sit in the comfort of my suburban middle-class-ness, I am the problem.
If I don’t look inside my own heart for sin, but rather fixate on finding the sin in the hearts of those I know and don’t know, I am the problem.
If I like your Facebook post of a picture of your yummy latte or fancy plate of food, but not your expression of frustration about the uptick of hate in the world, I am the problem.
I’d venture one step further. I am not only the problem, I am a coward. You are not only the problem. You are a coward.
The problem with the world? In the words of the most underappreciated Christian band of all time, Downhere:
I will look no further than the mirror.
That’s where the offender hides.