By Tom Ehrich

Even though I find it easier to read The Times online, I read the print edition every morning to make sure I get all the news, not just headlines I might click on.

The exercise is rarely uplifting. The news is grim every day. The major stories, of course, like spying on US citizens and madness in Egypt, but also B-list pieces like tense confrontations in Germany, mounting resentment of Silicon Valley’s excesses, corporate malfeasance.

This morning, I was working my way through the national and international news when I looked at a two-page spread of articles and thought, “Things are falling apart.”

People are preying on each other. Power knows no bounds. Cheating is normal. Religious extremism proceeds unchecked. Partisan wrangling paralyzes the government. Right-wing assaults on women and gays accelerate.

I don’t want to overstate this, because the world I see every day is delightful and encouraging. But with so much harm being done elsewhere, it seems only a matter of time before harm gets closer to my corner.

Maybe that is the nature of it: While war rages and greed distorts, we continue to start our days with tender conversation, we show up for work, we take walks and go on vacations, we raise children and sit with the aging, and we turn to God in prayer and service.

The forces of darkness win easily on the large stage. But on the small stages where we actually live, evil meets its match, namely, our personal values, our sturdiness and our innate goodness.

So I read The Times cover to cover at the breakfast table with my wife, both to grasp larger realities and to treasure my small perch.

I want to know what’s happening out there, because I am a citizen of that world. And I want to nurture my small perch, because being a faithful husband, father, worker and church member are what I uniquely contribute to this troubled world.

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