"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Loss of Notre Dame Reminds Us

The catastrophic fire at Notre Dame Cathedral and the collapse of its spire remind us of 9-11, and our grief is renewed.  We all wondered as we watched: why can't something be done to stop the fire?  Frustration, even anger, boiled up.

So much lost.  So much history, so much art, so much of the reality of the past going up in smoke. Tragic by any measure.

Now we must ask the question: what if we could have prevented that fire?  Would we have done so?  A stupid question, you snort, of course we would have done whatever was required to save this giant piece of our civilization.

And yet there is so much more of our civilization, our civilizations, that remain with us. Notre Dame, for all its grandeur, is a tiny thread in the vast tapestry of our collective cultures, histories, stories, lives.

Now listen: there is fire coming.  We know it is coming, and we know when it is coming.  There is no doubt about its coming.  The tapestry will be burned, along with wall upon which it hangs. And the building that supports that wall, along with the surrounding city and countryside.  All of it.

Now are you as sure that you would have acted to stop the burning of Notre Dame?  Would you?  Will you act to stop the burning of the world, all the art, the words, the works, the languages, the people and life itself?

Notre Dame's burning--how sad, how tragic, and how small in comparison to the conflagration that has been planned by us.  Do we really care?  Will we take action before the we see the flames on the horizon?  Will we?  For there will be no rebuilding.

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