Some days, I feel like I just can't take it anymore. I want to cry. And, I'm not ashamed to admit that I often do. They are not only tears of deep sorrow but crushing frustration, too. There is just so much cruelty in the world. And, so damned much of it is of our own doing. The worst part of it is that with a little compassion, most could be easily prevented. It should be prevented. It must be prevented.
I'm just one, insignificant being against and entire, cruel world. Even with an ego as large as mine, this seems an insurmountable task.
In today's era of instantaneous, mega-mass communication, we take in so much information incredibly rapidly. To my thinking, it is the yin-yang of the Internet Age. The good thing is that we can educate ourselves to an enormous degree. We can learn just about anything that we put our minds to. This gives us power - the power of knowledge. The bad thing is that there is no filter. And, perhaps, ultimately, there shouldn't be. But, in the meantime, as I progress as a human being trying to understand the meaning of life, I feel like I've seen enough savage cruelty to make my eyes bleed.
First, I work in the news business and have for many years. So, I have been privy to some pretty raw stuff. And, I see it day after day after day: man's inhumanity to his fellow man - and, to just about everything else around him. It is truly extraordinary. From the barbarity of beheadings to the cruelty of factory farming, our brutality seems to know no bounds. Where animals can be savage in the pursuit of survival, only the human beast seems to reap pleasure from inflicting pain.
And, it cuts me, deeply.
I pray to god for answers. Not one has answered. I implore a gentle Jesus to intervene and stop the madness. Although I take much comfort in his words, I have not found the real solution there, either. In fact, it usually causes me even greater consternation. After all, how can a god of mighty goodness, with the capability of creating AND destroying worlds, allow such evil to exist? The words are meant to empower us. But, why aren't we listening? People claiming to be Christians, as well as other deeply religious people, often seem to be the worst transgressors. Perhaps, the reason may be that evil is simply just as powerful as good. There is that damned yin-yang thing again. Those Taoists must have been on to something!
In the meantime, there's the practicality of dealing with the fact that cruelty does exist and it may be getting worse.
Of course, all of this was prompted by what I saw on Facebook today. It was filled with wonderful stories of family, friends, love, and redemption. There were funny memes and stories as well as spectacular photographs and videos. But, there were also horrible stories of murder, mayhem, rape, abuse, and cruelty that, well, made me stop and take a deep breath! I'll spare you the details except to say I had to turn away. I simple could not read one more story or view one more photo of pain, suffering, and degradation.
Then, there are the comments we make to one another. And, I'm guilty of this, too. Because we have this electronic veneer, we often feel it's OK to write hurtful, vicious things. It somehow seems easier to be cruel than it is to be kind. Everything is so immediate. We flash to anger. We strike quickly.
But, where does this leave us?
Looking away is necessary from time to time. In fact, it is essential to our mental health. But, it is just a temporary fix. We can't hide our heads in the sand forever and hope that things will just go away. You'll just suffocate. We can't smoke enough weed or drink enough booze to make us feel better about ourselves. We can pray, if that does anything for ya' But, I prefer a more active approach. Awareness is just the beginning. Without corresponding action, it reeks of impotence.
For me, the best way to find some relief is to pour some good back into this miserable world!
And, tt doesn't have to be great, big things.
The world is a HUGE place that can be overwhelming. So, make it smaller - SIMPLIFY.
The so-called little things can often be the most effective: take the time to say please and thank you, even to the grumpy gas station attendant who may not even bother to respond. Greet your co-workers with warm tidings. Call an old friend who may be lonely. Tell someone who may not expect it that you love them. Eat meat one less day/week to eliminate some animal cruelty. Park your car in another spot when someone takes your's at home - without leaving a nasty note on their windshield. And, while you're at it, give yourself a break.
The choice is ours. It always has been. In a sense, that's what so disturbing. We can choose our destiny as determined by our actions. Why someone would choose such a dark path is beyond me.
Well, I choose light and, damn it, I will do everything that I can to be one, as well - one, little god damned light in the wilderness.
Who will join me?