Somewhere in one of the Gospel accounts, the observation is made that Jesus “knew what was in man.” That sounds ominous, but I think it’s simply stating the fact the he knew our flawed, fallible human nature and didn’t trust our rather irrational exuberance.
So, as he lurched along through the crowd on the back of that donkey, I suspect his enthusiasm for all the hoopla was muted by the awareness that “this too shall pass,” and the same folks who were cheering wildly for him could at any time shift to booing—and worse.
Jesus was a realist; we—not so much, or at least not consistently. We want so badly for stories all to happy endings. Where do we get that almost irrational hope? Childhood happily-ever-after storybooks?
It would take a major revamping of our culture to alter our expectations.
What do other cultures, other countries teach their children to hope for?
I guess in many places it would be pointless to hope at all, even for a safe and quiet place to sleep, or something—almost anything—to eat. Happily-ever-after is a dream for white, middleclass Americans, for ourselves and our children.
As we lurch along through life, can we widen our perspective on the future, consider others who might need our help, and try to be more grateful for all we already have (and take for granted as our “birthright!)—something to eat, enough to wear, a safe place to live, a comfortable bed to sleep in, a worthwhile occupation to fill our days?
Compared to most in this world, and to many even in our own city, we are so very wealthy. What can we spread around so others may have a reason to rejoice, if only for a bit?
Watch the local and national news every day. Rather than tsk-tsking about the events you see, ponder how you might make a difference somehow, somewhere.
Listen to conversations around you, your own and those of others. Do you hear attitudes of criticism or entitlement? Are any of them yours?