Believing in Dreams and Resisting Cynicism in the Spiritual Tides of Our Times - by SC Skillman

 It is a dream… of what has never been… true, it has never been, and therefore, since the world is alive, and moving yet, my hope is the greater that it one day will be… dreams have before now come about of things so good… we scarcely think of them more than the daylight, though once people had to live without them, without even the hope of them.

William Morris Strawberry Thief design
William Morris Strawberry Thief design

These words are from William Morris the great Victorian designer. His dream was that everyone would “have his share of the best”; he longed to see art at the centre of everyone’s lives so that they might “always  have pleasure in the things that they use.”

It is extraordinary how relevant those words are to what is going on in the world right now, in terms of action to halt climate change. Or perhaps, not so extraordinary, because throughout human history we have revisited the same places over and over again, simply because the undercurrent of human nature does not change. As Christians I believe strongly we must resist cynicism at all costs, and hold on to certain truths which were encapsulated in William Morris's words above. 

I love William Morris designs and own tapestry bags with the Strawberry Thief design on them. True, art and design in our lives often has a monetary value; this seems to be the nature of human life. It seems to me, too, that the only way to get world leaders at COP26 to take truly visionary actions for the future generations who will inherit this planet, is to incentivise them with money. That is the tragedy of the base-rock of human nature. St Paul said, as we all know: The love of money is the root of all evil.  I believe the wise management of money lies behind the greatest good in this world, in terms of real lasting change. Behind that lies a conviction that climate justice and social justice, together, form a dream that can be fulfilled, if we have the will and the vision and the courage to make it happen. But above all, we must put away cynicism, which is a cancer in our society and media.

To me, William Morris’s dream of everyone having his or her "share of the best" is the ultimate democracy, the democracy of "value" and quality of life, above all else, whatever our circumstances. Quality of life for this planet and for all who live in it is a dream very far from being realised in our world. But how inspiring William Morris’s words are, and how encouraging his vision, for those of us who dream, and have high ideals. May we feel and act upon our conviction that as Christians we must be different, resist the tides of cynicism, and sty alert to the spiritual reality of our times.

SC Skillman is the author of Mystical Circles, A Passionate Spirit, Perilous Path and Paranormal Warwickshire. Her next book, Illustrated Tales of Warwickshire, will be released by Amberley Publishing in 2022. Her latest novel Director's Cut is currently on submission with publishers and agents.

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