Covid-19 Life Hope Time

Age of Transition

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When our first parents were driven out of Paradise, Adam is believed to have remarked to Eve: “My dear, we live in an age of transition”. — William Inge

A lot of centuries later, men continue to repeat to us that of the “Age of Transition” and we say it very seriously to defend ourselves from everything we do not understand and to which we do not have the courage to oppose. In the face of any problem, it is very comfortable for us to go to that reassuring explanation. That a boy comes home at any hour, spends a lot of money and lacks all respect for his parents? Well, there will be someone who will reassure his father: “And what are you going to do to him? The family lives in times of transition. There’s nothing to do”.

And the funny thing is that, with that of the transition, it seems that everything is already explained. Because if it occurs to you to keep thinking that certain things are wrong no matter what times we are in, they will look down on you as a poor underdeveloped boy or as someone who does not adapt to his times. Transition times, naturally. And what do we mean by that little phrase? That we have had a bad time, that we have to swallow certain things because, ultimately, they will pass when the world sediments and the good times arrive that will no longer be transitional and in which everything will return to its normal course.

So better than fighting and despairing would be to be understanding, tolerate, wait for the bad wave to pass and a time to come as God intended.

But it turns out that:

1. All times are transitional.

2. A golden and immobile age will never come.

3. All times are equally important.

4. And, in any case, this is Our Time.

Indeed: all times are transitional, from Adam to the final judgment. Man is a transient animal that lives transient times. Today is the prologue for tomorrow the same as yesterday was the beginning of today. Since the world has become a world, men, customs, the religious life itself have been walking and, therefore, changing, and all generations have had the task of sifting through what they had and what was new, because they could not throw everything away yesterday through the window or swallow without digesting how much the new time brought. The job of man is, on earth, nothing more than the task of a great digestion of the future, if possible with the minimum of indigestion.

There has never been and never will be a quiet golden age in which the world settles. On the contrary: every time that Humanity has made those immense mistakes that are sometimes born from a foolish desire for novelties, these nonsenses have been embedded in the flesh of subsequent generations, who have often had to pay dearly for them. Surely many, fifty years ago now, said that the concentration camps were things of a “time of transition”, but they were much more: we have not yet washed away their shame.

It will be good to remember that our time — whether it is transitional or stable — is “our” time, our only time. If one day a golden age were to come, we, in any case, would no longer be there. What do I mean by all this? That every man must be true to his convictions and have the courage to say, “this is good,” “this is bad,” whether it is fashionable or not. That we must oppose everything that seems unworthy to us, without falling into the comfortable trap of saying: these are temporary things of the transitional time that we have had to live. Life drags us enough so that topics drag us over.

Translated and adapted from Razones para vivir (José Luis Martín Descalzo, 1991).

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