The following is a guest column by Edith Schaeffer, L’Abri Fellowship, Huémoz, Switzerland.
What far reaching effects the limitation of oil has had! Here in Switzerland there is no driving on Sunday, and quiet roads wind down the mountainsides empty except for walking people or flying birds. City streets are the scene of roller skating and horseback riding. One feels on Sundays as if the clock has been turned back to a pre-automobile time, a time when people passed one another slowly enough to speak.
But time does not turn back, and the shortage of one essential product like oil points out our dependence on a limitless supply of a variety of things. Come to the end of one thing and many other things are affected; but more than “things,” human beings are affected. Suddenly there are no jobs in some industry, and as in a chain reaction other factories become silent. Depression! Depression in one country spreading to other countries. A “world depression” is an idea skulking in men’s imaginations today, a fear taking form in their hearts. Limited oil, limited gas, limited warmth, limited food, limited transportation—the future shows signs of bleakness.
Human beings are also depressed, frustrated, or at least annoyed by their own limitations. People with too much to do are frustrated by the limitation of time. People with too many places they feel they need to be are frustrated by the limitation of space. People with many talents and ideas are frustrated by the limitation of energy, by the frailty of the human frame, by the constantly recurring need for sleep. Some people who are full of ideas are frustrated by a limitation of talent or ability to carry them out. Persons with physical inadequacies are frustrated by the limitations ...1
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