I have changed my work schedule starting this week in order to fit meditation and walking 6 km to work into my life before I hit the desk – just in time for the glorious change in weather. But instead of sharing one of the beautiful little flowers poking its head up from the dirt, or a bird flitting in the neighbourhood shrubbery – I am sharing this little piece of truth captured on the side of a city works trailer.
This graffiti makes me think of lots of people I have known and things I have done — which I realize now weren’t weren’t in the service of ending capitalism but of ending my own sense of suffering. I think to be honest the graffiti would actually read “it’s easier to imagine the end of the world, than the end of suffering.” This explains a lot of apocalyptic thinking (and action) on the left and right – call it whatever you want (capitalism/oppression/suffering/guilt) we are all looking for a way out. For some of us the suffering is so extreme that we can only imagine it ending if everything ends with it (and if you are a Christian – you might not be so sure about that because hell is always a potential afterwards).
This is jihad, and revolutionary class war, and the rapture all rolled into one – it’s like scratching an itch so hard that it ruptures and creates a permanent wound. It’s the impotence of protest activism and the frustration of spiritual poverty. It’s an inability to envision transformation.
But if you could pull the plug, would you? I suppose that depends how great the suffering is – for those mad from it might do terrible things. Most of us, however, just imagine. We march and pray and spraypaint and hope that transformation comes in our lifetimes. Even if we have a hard time believing it will.