I have been enjoying Downton Abby. The acting is good, the casting perfect, the characters believable and the story line interesting – that all helps. But there is more. I feel good when the show is over, regardless of what happened in the drama. I think this is so because in spite of a few scoundrels, I experience people in trusting relationships and being valued and respected by one another. On a psychological level, I don’t feel exploited. I haven’t been immersed in scenes that take me to a place I don’t want to go. The series stands in sharp contrast with much of what is reflected in films and television today. I am not saying that we should close our eyes to pain, suffering, injustice and grief. I am against looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. I’m a realist. I’ve walked through difficult circumstances with other people and been through dark times. I know that bad things happen and believe we are called to work toward overturning evil and the consequences of sin. What I am suggesting is that while trials, temptations and trouble will continue to plague us, elevating our view of one another just might reverse this cultural rot we seem to be experiencing. Here’s where it gets tricky, though. It’s not enough to decide to be nicer, to value others more, to reject the cultural norms. Loving God and loving others is a high-calling. Real and consistent change can only occur when we fully grasp who God is, are willing to receive His love, forgiveness, and redemption, and choose to allow the Holy Spirit to continually work in us. This assignment is not for the faint of heart but the war between good and evil never is.