It Ain't All Waitin on You
"You can't stop what's coming," Ellis says, admonishing Sheriff Bell as No Country for Old Men enters its climactic scenes.
And then—right there: with humanity and morality and light and darkness dangling inside a pregnant pause—I wondered if Ellis, for all his apparent earthy wisdom, would succumb to an easy-does-it defeatism.
Or perhaps he'd press the opt-out button, abdicating personal or social responsibility.
Strikingly, he does neither.
Instead he offers Sheriff Bell (and those of us listening in) what amounts to a firm, loving corrective: "It ain't all waitin on you. That's vanity."
I'm completely with Ellis on this one.
It is indeed the better (worse) part of vanity—and, yes, for people of faith as for people of no particular faith—to believe that we can actually save the world.
That we have the personal or social power to rescue and deliver the darkened souls of men, women, and societies.
That I/you alone, with all the goodness we can muster, can flip the script of some evil tide coming to shore.
Maybe it's enough to ask—
Given our knowledge, our experience, our relationships and resources, what are we able to do well...where we are...in the short-term...for the sake of the long-term?