Last year I focused on the flowers themselves. Their suggestion of other dimensions, of ethereal realities goes far beyond words, to the realm of pure feeling. This year, however, my eye moved more to the people enjoying a day together, welcoming the joys of this hopeful season.
Their delight was in pure contrast to international news, which has absorbed much of my attention in recent months. There are so many worries and questions today. How can anyone applaud an escalation of war as a way to “mean business” and to solve very complex problems? How can people believe the intricately woven stories that divert us from the truth of human dignity, especially of those suffering the most?
The United Airline disaster is yet another example of “might as right”, but this time, thankfully, gone terribly wrong. Can we believe the apologies of CEO Oscar Munoz? Are they genuinely sincere, and not motivate by economic concerns alone?
It seems to me that if Mr. Munoz really wanted to express a change of attitude and values, he would do more than apologize and reimburse passengers the cost of that infamous flight. Has it occurred to him to use a percentage of his enormous salary (14 million dollars in 2016) and all of his bonus money over the years (He may receive yet another $500,000 soon) on an ongoing basis to contribute to organizations that work with victims of police brutality, domestic violence, and child abuse? Has he thought of including United Airlines, Inc. as part of that contribution to the betterment of society?
As I watched ordinary people today together celebrating the return of new life, I realized how truly beautiful our humanity is. And hopefully, the disturbing descent of our values to the lowest common denominator will find reason to change direction, moving us upward to embrace something both new and as old as the universe itself. Spring, the promise of new life for everyone, not just those at the top.