José Antonio Pagola
We live our lives submerged in bad news. Radio broadcasts and television news channels, stories and reports overwhelm us with an avalanche of accounts of hatred, wars, hunger and violence, scandals big and small. The vendors of sensational news do not seem to find anything else more noteworthy on our planet.
The incredible speed with which news is spread leaves us dumbfounded and disconcerted. What can one do faced with such suffering? We are increasingly well informed of the evil that devastates the entire humanity and increasingly we feel more powerless to face it.
Science has wished to convince us that problems can be solved with greater technological power, and has involved us all in a gigantic organization and rationalization of life. But this organized power is no longer in the hands of people but in structures. It has changed into “an invisible power” that is far beyond the reach of any individual.
The temptation then to inhibit us is great. What can I do to improve this society? Isn’t it the political and religious leaders who have to promote the changes needed to progress towards a more dignified, more human and more happy society?
That’s not the way. No. In the gospels there is a call directed to all which consists in sowing small seeds of a new humanity. Jesus does not speak of great deeds. The kingdom of God is something very humble and modest in its beginnings; something that can pass as unnoticed as the smallest seed, but is called to grow and to flourish in an unsuspected way.
Perhaps we should learn anew to value small things and small actions. We do not feel called to be heroes or martyrs every day, but we are all called to live in a way that introduces a little dignity in every corner of our small world. A friendly gesture towards someone in distress. A welcoming smile for a lonely person, a sign of closeness to someone beginning to despair, a small ray of joy to a heart in distress are not grand gestures. They are small seeds of the kingdom of God we all can sow in a sad, complicated society that has forgotten the joy of little, loving acts.