'They that sow the wind shall reap the Whirlwind.'
A quote from the book of Hosea in the Bible, although until I looked it up the other day I thought it was from Shakespeare, which is frequently the case with me!
Apparently the most well-known use of this line was during the Second World War when someone used it in regard to violent military retaliation. Reading the news from the Middle East, among other places, it struck me that there are a lot of unfortunate people at the moment reaping a Whirlwind of other peoples' making. It is a beautifully poetic description of potential havoc, destruction and devastation in the harshest sense and although it may be spoken in terms of the 'reaper' receiving just desserts, the more I consider it the more it seems to me that in life people so often reap other people's payment.
In Hosea, it is used as a bleak prophecy to a nation but always there are those caught up in devastation who were just trying to carry on with a productive and purposeful life on the side-lines. I don't need to give examples- look at the war zones, the typhoon and storm damage, more warzones, refugees, displaced persons...
I have to admit that I am also looking closer to home, as in all things one tends to put the huge events in perspective with the small personal ones. My children are still reaping the whirlwind of my sowing with the breakup of the family, much though I try to protect them. I never meant to sow a wind, I did not even realise I was. All the many years I did my best for them and for very many others too and living is reduced to the day to day coping with a Whirlwind of my unintentional making.
I suppose this applies to many, many of us: cause and effect, action and reaction. And it is the people who think who realise this while others don't seem to notice because they are not given to introspection. Which does not make the 'thinkers' more responsible, but does make them more aware.
No one lives a blameless life, no one's actions can ever be taken in isolation, most people do the best with the lemons they are given and their lemonade of life turns out reasonably sweet at least some of the time! But others, intentionally or unintentionally, sometimes through just doing what they thought was the right thing, sow havoc and leave the vulnerable to pick up the pieces. One can not help everyone, or solve all injustice, and that too is a burden, whether we are looking at the world picture or the personal, but somehow we have to still do our best where we are at and trust that in the grand scheme things will work out for the greater good.