I heard on the news today…
It wasn’t very long after opening up my Twitter feed this morning that I saw what happened in Paris. More unnecessary deaths. More slaughtering. More overall awfulness.
Not too far from France, a car bomb killed 35 people outside a Yemen police college. Again, more deaths, more horribleness.
Many people shake their heads and say what is the world coming to?
I have to admit, I’ve been one of those people. I’ve thought how much better it was when I was growing up. That there wasn’t as much violence and overall cruelty.
My parents have thought the same about their own generation and when they were younger. “Better times” they say.
But was it? Was the world a better place to live in 10 years ago? How about 20 years ago? 30? More?
I say no. People have committed acts of violence against each other since the dawn of the human species. We’ve been fighting wars, arguing who is right and wrong, attempting to harness power to use for our own purposes and means for forever.
It’s part of who we are as humans. As much as we’d like to think that we are the smartest species, we are also in fact one of the cruelest.
I’m not trying to depress anyone and no I’m not a pessimist. I think idealists love to throw that word at me because they have a very difficult time facing up to the reality of the world.
It’s just how it is. You can choose to hide in the woods somewhere, near a lake and live a life of complete oblivion. But this is how the world is. Has always been. And it’s never going to change.
The only difference? We’re very aware of it. Everything is unfolding right in front of us from our computer screens, phones, and tablets. Shootings, bombings, wars, and crimes against humanity of all kind are captured quickly and shared widely because of the technology we have now as opposed to two decades ago.
Imagine if we had Instagram and Twitter during the time of the Roman Empire. Or pre-civil rights of both African Americans and women (both groups still fighting for their rights in the 21st century). I can assure you, we would have been witnessing a heck of a lot of awfulness.
I don’t believe in hope or humankind. I don’t think the world is made up of rainbows or fairies. I don’t even believe there is a god. And no you are no more special than the next person standing beside you.
I see the world for what it is and accept it.
But I do believe in the goodness of some people. There are people out there who do bring a metaphoric sunshine into the everyday. They make us laugh, they help us when we are at our lowest, they lend an ear when we need someone to talk to, and they provide us with comfort or help when we need it most.
You don’t hear the stories of these people. Well, rarely that is. It’s because their news doesn’t “sell” in the media. They don’t make companies and corporations any money so why tell their story?
So the next time you see something awful happen on the news or yet another sad story pops up on social media, just remember that someone somewhere – probably a person you know – is breathing goodness back into the world.