Most of us are a little removed from any harvest taking place in our immediate environment. With the cold weather, our gardens are mostly finished producing and any day now a hard freeze will knock down the last remaining flowers.
I am so confident of the abundance of our national and international harvest that I take it for granted that there will be enough for most people worldwide - except in those places where they are suffering tragedies from war or natural disasters. Even in those places, international cooperation and aid can in some measure mitigate the hardship.
Still, there are parts of the world where scarcity is a fact of life. There are two books and three observations that make me feel better about the future in this regard.
The first is a new book published this year, called "Superabundance" by Marian Tupy and Gale Pooley. This book offers convincing testimony that, although it is true that we live on a delicate planet that is composed of a finite number of atoms, both population and prosperity can increase without endangering the Earth.
The second is an older book, “The Better Angels of our Nature” by Stephen Pinker, which shows in a similar way that despite the unhappiness and dangers that are called to our attention on a regular basis, people today are much safer and materially better off than at any time in our past.
The third is the observation, especially with respect to climate change, that humans tend to be poor at evaluating future problems and responding cooperatively to them. We are much better at adapting to problems once they arrive. We would be much better off if we would do the former, but that is not what history tells us about human behavior.
The fourth is the observation that even though Christianity has long been on the decline in the West, it is still growing extremely rapidly worldwide. The Old and New Testaments remain the largest selling book on earth, and its long-term effect is inevitable.
The fifth is the conclusion that all of this is preparing the way for the spread of the Heavenly Doctrine, and therefore of the New Church. It may not seem likely or even possible at this point in history, but this does seem to be the claim written in the books.
These five thoughts put me in a positive frame of mind as we get past the season of elections and start thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas.