April 17, 2022

Today is Easter in the Christian tradition.  I’m Catholic, so I plan to be in Church, the first in-person attendance at Easter services since the Pandemic.

Friday was the first day of Passover, and began the second week of Ramadan.  Kathy from the Reconciliation Project wrote on April 14:  “And we are one week into Ramadan. I am told only once in every 30 years do the three Abrahamic religions all have their major holy days overlap. Maybe some synergy of the practicing can help leverage a change In Ukraine.”

Then there’s Ukraine.

Carol, a friend like-minded to me, tried a light touch for Easter on Saturday afternoon:

I responded with a light touch of my own, from my ND farm cache of old postals from over 100 years ago:

“Over there” Putin has played the Nazi card for his own perverse reasons.

Friday evening I picked up a copy of “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”, the 1959 blockbuster by William Shirer.  It comes via a neighbor now in a Nursing Home.

I read Shirer’s Foreword, and the last two paragraphs seem appropriate food for thought on Easter 2022, and beyond.

“Adolf Hitler is probably the last of the great adventurer -conquerors in the tradition of Alexander, Caesar and Napoleon and the Third Reich the last of the empires which set out on the path taken earlier by France, Rome and Macedonia.  The curtain was rung down on that phase of history, at least, by the sudden invention of the hydrogen bomb, of the ballistic missile and of rockets that can be aimed to hit the moon.

In our new age of terrifying, lethal gadgets, which supplanted so swiftly the old one, the first great aggressive war, if it should come, will be launched by suicidal little madmen [emphasis added] pressing an electronic button.  Such a war will not last long and none will ever follow it.  There will be no conquests, but only the charred bones of the dead on an uninhabited planet.”

Putin may not like the reference to “little madmen” though he certainly is one.

I note Shirer likely wrote his Foreword in 1959, 63 years ago, when I was in second year in College.  He’s stuck with his prediction, exactly as written.  We have the potential wisdom of hindsight; of impacting on the present; and personally we can impact towards a better future.   But it’s only potential, and we control that.

Shirer, who was a journalist in Germany from 1934-40, knew of what he spoke.  In the 1950s he had no way of knowing the world we inhabit in 2022, and the new and very real threats to the very survival of our planet, such as a compromised internet, portability of pandemics, the economic connections between nations, on and on.   We can destroy ourselves now in ways Shirer and others probably couldn’t have imagined.  There are no longer borders as traditionally understood.  Covid-19 didn’t care where the border was, or who was infected….

There will always be “little madmen”.  They exist in every society including our own.  This has always been true.

It is up to the rest of us to help steer the boat which is our planet in a more positive direction.

As I said at the beginning, I’m a church guy.  We were at Basilica of St. Mary this morning.  The church was packed, masks recommended, about half with masks….  The Archbishop mentioned Ukraine in his message.  At home, I learned that Pope Francis had done the same.  The Pope’s Easter message is here.

And Thursday is Earth Day.  A good place and time to get engaged in the rest of your life.

Finally, in a few months the next American election.   Each is more important than the last.  Now the clash is between Democracy and Autocracy.  Get involved.

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