Thursday, January 31, 2019

Processes Lead to Results

The Olympic motto: Faster, Higher, Stronger  influences much of our world culture. However, we also want these results with as little energy, money and time expended as possible. A parish priest  brings our attention to the problems that arises with this view of life in an article in the Bible & Life magazine.

He recalls stopping at a red light, turning green, it was not two seconds before the car behind blew the horn. Granted,with that time the car could have  traveled some tens of meters, was that the reason for the feeling of mistreatment? Is this not the society in which we live? Two seconds can become a problem for many.

We live in a neo-liberal society, dealing with unlimited competition. Speed is of the essence of life.This does not mean the action is speeded up but the time to arrive at the action—the process is shortened. Since speed is important, ways to shorten the process is considered good—small expense for the greatest results.

This way of thinking has become embedded in our culture. Some feel it's ideal to skip high school and get into college. Pride is expressed that we have done in 10 years what took other countries 100 years. The results  are important, process can be overlooked, the shortest methods are held up for praise.

However in life no matter how difficult there are certain processes that have to be followed. The birth of a child is one such process. It takes nine months if we try to speed up the process not all turns out well. The love of the mother and child is nurtured and after the child is born we have the breast feeding period, infancy, childhood,  teenage period, if one of them is ignored the growth into adulthood is harmed.  

This holds true with a building that should take three years to build and with so much money and workers. When we diminish the time, expenses, number of workers, problems arise.  When we look at our history we have many examples of the results of this thinking: 'modernization of the fatherland',  'energizing the citizenry' are all popular phrases used  often  to  take shortcuts. Many of the tragedies in our society were not concerned with processes. 

We still are looking for the least time on processes, cheapest methods and greatest results. With this attitude what happens is those who need to be given help and protected are further pushed into poverty and death. Those with whom we should be living together in harmony are sent to the fringes of society.

He mentions the temptations in the desert where Jesus was tempted to take short cuts. We also are tempted to take the easy way but Jesus shows us that's not the way of the Christian(Math.4:1-11). 

Jesus did not take the easy way but the difficult one. We are invited to take the same journey together with others.

Go quickly alone, achieve alone, eat to the full alone, be comfortable alone is this happiness? Is it not rather to have less to eat but with others, be somewhat uncomfortable but with others, but even, if slower to walk with others and even if more difficult, to do it with others, is this not the way to achieve what we want with joy in our heart? "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."

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