Glancing at the headlines this morning was an invitation to assume that the world seems on the verge of chaos. Venezuela, Ecuador, and Colombia are engaged in the dance of war, while commodity prices continue to skyrocket amidst a simultaneous collapse of the dollar. Israeli and Hamas forces exchanged rocket fire, and near Seattle environmental radicals may have torched a posh luxury home development.
Now, I am not normally one to rail with clenched fists about Armageddon, but days like this can push even a sober pundit into a fit of garment-rending and teeth-gnashing.
Some days I wake up and I think I understand the forces that produce social, political, and economic change. I fall back on my years of study, pull out the appropriate theorems, and begin to make some sense of the world.
Then there are days like today, when finding a pair of matching socks seems like an exercise in futility, and where I feel overwhelmed by my ability to comprehend the events of the day. I think on such days I would be better served by unpluging the Internet, turning off the cable news channels, and taking a walk in the woods.
I might not find answers to the difficult problems of the world, but I might just gain a few hours of peace. Perhaps this is more important, anyways.