No More Protected Space

In North America, we have for centuries lived in protected space because of the physical distance between us and the rest of the world. That protection began to break down with telegraphic communication and newer means of transport. After two world wars, air travel and television became part of our lives.

Today, mobile phones are as well-known in Africa as they are in Europe. The videos of an ISIS leader in the Middle East can be watched by a young woman in Idaho.

We can no longer seal off our societies from others, those we deemed in the past as strange and threatening. Today, they come to us, if not physically then electronically, but our ability to speak to each other has far outstripped our ability to speak wisely to each other.

Sometimes old values are strengthened by new insights. In the past, the new ideas of the Renaissance and the Reformation led to wars, but they needn’t have. The ideas ultimately strengthened older institutions when those institutions began to address their failings.

We grow or die, and new challenges can renew us if we use them to spur the changes we need.

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