Optimistic in the Face of Disaster
SOME persons go through life with a carefree, happy-go-lucky frame of mind. Such usually are blithely oblivious of world conditions. Those who truly are aware of world conditions often are very apprehensive of the future.
Thus the New York Times, June 12, 1955, editorialized as follows: “We have now long lived in a kind of winter of the modern world. Fear has chilled the blood in our veins and, strangely enough, there has not been enough hate to warm it. This is actually not a period of tremendous struggle. It is, rather, a period of apprehension. This is so, and perhaps in the end will come to seem fortunately so, because the world can no longer afford to express its hate—because in bleak truth hate is now suicidal, hate has become the final chill of death.” However, in view of mankind’s past mistakes there is little comfort in the hope that it will avoid a certain course because it is suicidal.
Pertinent in this regard are the remarks that Dr. Krumm, Columbia University chaplain, made to 160 graduating seniors. He said he doubted that anyone with an eye to history could seriously be an optimist now and further claimed that the Bible asserts that the future is “wrapped in mystery.” “We have the ability to make the earth uninhabitable. All that stands between us and that fate is the pathetic little store of wisdom and patience and good-will that mankind and its leaders have been able to engender.” According to him, the most serious casualty of this century is optimism.—New York Times, May 30, 1955.
Optimism dead? Not so long as there are some 500,000, at least, who have faith in Jehovah’s promises regarding the bright future in store for earth and mankind. Man make this earth uninhabitable? Not in view of the fact that God assures us that he “formed it to be inhabited,” and that ‘whatever he has purposed he will also do it.’ The future wrapped in mystery? Not when God’s Word plainly tells us that, in his due time, “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea,” and that he “will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more.”—Isa. 45:18; 46:11; 11:9, AS; Rev. 21:4, NW.
One can be optimistic in spite of world conditions without closing his eyes to them and without blindly trusting in man’s wisdom, patience and good will, if one understands the Creator’s purposes and has faith in them. Nor is the realization of these purposes regarding earth and man in the distant future. On the contrary. After foretelling the conditions we now see Jesus said: “But as these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near.”—Luke 21:28, NW.