There is injustice. There is murder. There are leaders that ignorantly and intentionally incite the worst nature of others.
It can be all so disheartening.
And, after glimpses of progress -- two steps forward -- there is regression -- one step back.
Be Of Strong Heart.
Despite our very reasonable sadness about the world around us, the world has never been safer.
Despite the mass incarceration in the United States and other forms of tyranny around the world, democracy has never been so widespread.
With the murder, assault and disenfranchisement of individuals for being who they are, the words of the original statement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights still ring as a beacon to us all.
Bespoiling its mission with a record of political bigotry, the United Nations still stands as a reminder to all of us that there is the potential for a world of peace, security and prosperity.
Today is the 68th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Have you the time and patience to read it? I read it aloud this morning with a small group of citizens this morning -- led by our rabbi at Shabbat services.
Here it is with introductory commentary by Rabbi Gilah Langner: http://truah.org/images/stories/hrs13-02-udhr.pdf.
Keep hold of your ideals
We must not abandon our ideals due to imperfect implementation.
If we were to reject our ideals when they are not achieved, we would have to close every school and hospital -- and grant every married couple an automatic divorce.
Rejecting ideals due to imperfect implementation is a life lived cynically, without hope. Cynicism might be popular, but it is corrosive -- and the opposite of authenticity.
I might be skeptical, but I'm no cynic. If I am to choose between being an idealist and being a cynic, I will cast my future with the idealists.
Which are you?