I’m writing this in case today’s eclipse isn’t the end of the world.

While hardly anyone seems to agree with anyone else about anything these days, I think there is an almost universal sense of good-grief-what’s-the-world-coming-to?? Politics, terrorism, violence of all sorts . . . there’s a great deal of ugliness out there these days.

So what can you do?

First, consider history.

Turns out the world has been going to Hell in a hand-basket for a very long time. Think Christians being fed to the lions in Rome, the Bubonic Plague in the mid-1300s, WWI, something called the Holodomor when Stalin caused millions of people to starve to death in the Ukraine in the 1930s, and, of course, Adolf Hitler.

That’s not to make you feel better about the current state of the world, it’s just to remind us all that evil has been with us for a looong time.

Second, do something about what you can do something about.

If you’re like me, there are opportunities all day every day to do the right thing. Wave to the neighbors while walking the dog (and pick up that piece of trash while you’re at it). Show up to work on time ready to give it your all. Bring a co-worker a cup of coffee. Smile at strangers in the grocery store. Tell the couple with the well-behaved kids at the local restaurant how great their kids are. Resist giving the couple with the kids acting up a hard time.

Remember what your mother told you–two wrongs don’t make a right and treat others the way you want to be treated.

I probably sound naive, but this isn’t my advice. It’s from someone much smarter, kinder, and more generous than I am.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”