While driving back from a meeting this week (in the – big surprise – pouring rain) I happened to be tuned into public radio. I didn’t catch the name or title of the speaker but they sounded like a cross between an economist, a political scientist and a cultural anthropologist … which probably means that what they really did for a living is journalism. Anyway, the thing they talked about was the discrepancy between how the current state of our country really is compared to how it is being presented by both Republicans and Democrats. The speaker presented statistics on unemployment rates, housing starts, the health of financial institutions, the percentages of kids graduating from colleges and the salaries they make when they enter the job market etc. He said that the statistics paint a much brighter picture than the one being painted both by politicians and by the general public. In other words, we don’t have it as bad as we like to think we have it and say we have it. We feel like our society is crumbling but … according to the numbers … things aren’t really crumbling. They are coming back together slowly but surely. There is a “disconnect” between people’s perception and reality he argued.
His argument seemed solid. It all made perfect sense to me at the moment of hearing. But then, as I often do, I turned the radio off so I could digest the content that I had just heard (and hopefully remember some of it). With the external chatter silenced, the internal chatter started. I got to thinking about the lessons from Bible and the Gospel reading for this week.