What Is Wrong with the World?

There’s a famous anecdote that a leading 19th century newspaper sent out an inquiry to the leading writers and thinkers of the day with the question “What is wrong with the world?”

Many likely wrote about the ills of society or the breakdown of morality or the failure of leadership, but one man, Gilbert K. Chesterton, wrote probably the shortest yet most profound answer.

His reply was: “Dear Sir, I am. Yours truly, G. K. Chesterton.”

Maybe when I look at all the racial unrest and economic turmoil and pandemic woes that seem to be compounding daily, if I want to pass blame, perhaps I should first look in the mirror.

What have I neglected to do that might have helped or what did I do out of carelessness or thoughtlessness that caused unnecessary harm?

It’s easy to point a self-righteous finger, especially if the target is someone we already didn’t like in the first place. It’s easy to place all the blame on “those” people who think and speak differently than you. It’s easy to build up a wall in social media where the only voices you will tolerate are those who echo your own views and opinions. It’s easy to call for karma for others when they do wrong and yet want grace for your own mistakes.

But it’s another to look in the mirror and see that any change for the better must first come from within. I must be the first to recognize the prejudice, fear, and wrath in my own heart that only God’s love can cast out.

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