We live in the best of all possible worlds
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Leibniz was smart. But was he right?
Last week marked the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army. Holocaust-survivors spoke in the German parliament and after 77 year were still so moved they could not contain their emotions. The horror they had experienced never left them and the memories are just too terrible.
Today is the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when British soldiers shot 31 unarmed civilians who had gathered for a civil rights march through the Derry’s Bogside to protest against discrimination against Catholics in housing and employment. Troops from the Parachute Regiment fired more than 100 times, killing 13 people. After two inquiries and an apology from a British prime minister, no one has been prosecuted.
Is that the best of all possible worlds?
There are reasons to think that the world is a pretty difficult and challenging place for Pádraig too. Being hit by a car, with no-one ever been prosecuted, having to fight not just for your life right after the accident, but also for the right to live your life with the injuries you sustained, is tough.
It makes me think that the world could be better if we just tried a little bit harder.
But I also started to think that the world is quite an ok place, maybe even the best we can possibly get.
Sometimes, taking a deep breath helps.
Pádraig still goes to Hyperbaric twice a week. He says it helps him with his lungs and his alertness. I spend the hour with him, hoping against hope that there is some truth in what they say, that oxygen helps you stay younger.
As the weather is getting slightly better and the days slightly longer, Pádraig is also back out on more frequent walks. Yesterday, in the Botanic Gardens.
There isn’t much we can do to change circumstances. There is nothing we can do to change the past. No matter how horrendous it was.
What we can do is seeing the good things and the good people around us, and being grateful for them.
Congratulations to the wonderful world we live in. Thank you to the generous, caring people who are all around us.
Leibniz might have been right after all.