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You can be an island of salvation and mercy in a deteriorating world.




Our world is deteriorating. There is a terrorist attack of some kind each day. Social tension is off the charts. Every day reliances seem to be collapsing. People regularly recognize this out of frustration and then later deny it because of the raw fear that it implies.

The terror attacks are from all sides. Muslim extremists in Egypt or the United Kingdom, black or white people in the United States, it all abounds. It is not quite about the religion or group of people as it is about material conditions and resources - people are fighting to the death for control over the world's most desired resources.

This reality has to be accepted not only in order to survive but to persevere. A new power structure is going to emerge out of this one but this one is transitioning out. It's likely not going to come back and thus the expectations of it need to be relinquished. One thing liberation theology teaches is that wealth and poverty are created by man made structures. The wealth that people in places like the United States were accustomed to was due to a structure that is collapsing fast right now - one has to adapt to whatever is coming next in order to survive.

I don't have the answers at all. I spend my day, each day, looking for food. In line with what Paul Farmer said in an interview, like most the world's populations, I wake up and ask myself, how will I eat today? Beyond that, I try to be an island of mercy and understanding - Pope Francis, at times recognizing that we seem headed toward a "third world war," has said to parishioners as well that they can be "islands of mercy" in their daily life. The writing here and at The Western Edition, a San Franciso newspaper I work for, has all been dedicated to people helping individuals through the non-profit sector. Not only do I think these are people who are making the world slightly better but they are thinking outside the order enough that what they build may be there when the dust settles.

This also requires relinquishing old expectations. You can't be an island of mercy if you think you're about to become a billionaire in a world where that's probably no longer going to be a possibility.

The world has been through most of this before - albeit without modern technology. The technology is psychologically impactful as we now see everything. When the Roman empire dissolved, there weren't YouTube video of Roman clashes with Jews. When the first Islamic caliphate came about, there weren't videos of Muslim hordes sweeping through Africa or in to Central Asia. Ghengis Khan didn't take selfies. Try to keep in mind that this is not new, that the world has been here and alot worse before. Weather the storm, stay strong and be realistic.

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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

© 2017 Radical Second Things