A century from now, what shall be said of us?
When you reflect upon global and personal matters, do you ever think ‘what if…’? When you read about the injustices experienced by others, do you wonder how can circumstances be changed? In feeling a sense of frustration and sadness, do you long to bring hope to the situation? Do you wonder, what is the gift of my life and how am I responding to the call of the Gospel? There are hopes for a better world for all and the dream for humanity. What are your dreams?
What is our dream a century from now? Who shall the shapers have been?
A century from now, what shall be said of our journey in these times?
And who shall the shapers have been? …Who shall have shaped the future more?
The hopeful dreamers who were strong enough to suffer for the dream?
Or the fearful pessimists who were convinced that dreaming and hope are for sleepers only, not for those awake to the age?
A century from now, shall hope and humour have been strong enough to enable living with unanswerable questions?
Or shall the pain that a transitional age necessarily brings have caused a retreat to old answers that no longer acknowledge new questions?
A century from now, we shall have indeed journeyed… backward or forward.
Direction can no longer be given by circumstance; real journeyers know that direction is always chosen by those who make the journey. Who shall choose the direction?
… So the question is still the same…
A century from now, what shall be said of our human journey in these times?
And who shall the shapers have been?
Lillian Smith (1897-1966), The Journey, 1954
Throughout her career, Smith was one of the most out-spoken white Southerners on race issues and she criticised the timidity of moderates and liberals. She had always preferred appeals to white self-interest and personal change, but beginning in the mid-1950s she supported the non-violent civil rights movement and the leadership of Martin Luther King, Junior. Shortly after being treated for breast cancer for the first time, she wrote The Journey (1954), which was based on her travels and interviews in the South and investigated the idea of human dignity.
Contact: Carmel Heagerty RSM, Institute Justice Co-ordinator