The Four Horsemen

Does it sometimes seem that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—pestilence, war, famine and death—are loose on the land?

Millions are on the verge of starving to death in Yemen. Diseases such as Zika and Ebola are turning up everywhere. The threat of nuclear war is greater than at any time since the Cold War. Mass migration is taxing countries’ resources and shows no sign of abating. War in the Middle East has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

And the oceans? Where to begin? Acidification. Melting polar ice caps. Dying coral reefs. Huge patches of plastic waste.

The one thing these afflictions, these apocalyptic visitations, have in common is that they are planetary in scope. They can be mitigated only if all the nations of the earth join together in collaboration. And that is why the Trump administration’s go-it-alone, “America First” ideology is so cruelly wrong. It ignores what is crystal clear to those who have eyes to see: The world has become profoundly interconnected, and what happens in one country affects all other countries.

I try to remind myself that everything changes, that Donald Trump won’t be president forever, that there is still much good in the world. And, of course, there are always stories to amuse and enlighten us.

This week’s cover feature, “A taste for success,” is a good one. It’s a tale about overcoming adversity and the power of hard work and creativity. And it’s written by the estimable R. E. Graswich. I think you will enjoy it.