In our contemporary world elected representatives generally fail to see any further down the road than their next reelection campaigns. Business leaders and Wall Street investors think in terms of riding bubbles for a year or two and then cashing in before the bubble bursts. There are few visionaries in the realms of politics or economics who have the courage to take a long-term, multi-generational view of things. We are a generation who've been trained to expect and require immediate, instant results. We "zap" our microwaved lunches in three minutes and web pages are loaded onto our monitors from halfway across the world in mere seconds. The concept of deferred gratification seems like some musty left-over from our puritanical past. And the idea of making present sacrifices for the sake of future generations strains the limits of our imaginations.
But people like Danial Berrigan remind us that there are realities that transcend our brief, ephemeral moment of incarnation. Danial lived his life in the larger dimensions of an evolutionary process which his fellow Jesuit, Teilhard de Chardin called "cosmogenisis."