I’ve been writing posts in my mind about issues and problems in America and around the world. There are two problems – first, things are so complex 1000 words won’t even be a good summary and 1000 pages would barely scratch the surface. I’m not going to write 1000 volumes…. The next thing is that every time I sit down to write, something comes up that makes my thoughts seem very insensitive. Actually, that is part of the problem in itself – besides the fact that it shows that the hate and violence is spreading instead of slowing down, it also shows that everyone on all sides have a hard time seeing all points of view so no matter what I write, it will make someone angry, most likely because they will take what I say in a very different way than I meant it. Of course, only an omnipotent being can see ALL points of view, but just trying to see the other side on occasion would go a long way towards solving the problems, even trying to understand the most extreme views.
There is so, so much more it’s hard to imagine where to even start.
One place is black and white thinking – I’m not talking about skin color, here is a hint: if you think there are two ways of looking at things, your way and the wrong way, then you are wrong. With the exception of outrageous things like raping children, there is no pure, clean division between good and evil. And then, of course, who defines what is outrageous? Our society defines raping children as outrageous, but it wasn’t that long ago that our society defined interracial marriage as outrageous, an affront against God. So perhaps even in the most outrageous things imaginable we need to look at all sides – understanding another’s point of view does not mean condoning it, and people who hurt others for any reason are always suspect, the more innocent the person they hurt, the more suspect.
Then there is fear. There is so much fear in this world! It is an uncertain place and there might be some bad things out there. The future might not be bright and it all leads to death. But fear, particularly unreasonable fear, is one of the biggest ills in this world. Look at the word “terrorism”. It means to make people afraid far beyond what is reasonable and to act on that fear. Fear is something that many news sources use to drive your point of view. Politicians use it all of the time and political parties base large parts of their platform on it. I could write 1000 books, each 1000 pages long on this one subject – I think it is the driver behind much of what’s happening.
Anger often stems from fear. There is anger about anything and everything. I know a lot of the roots of some of the anger, but much is a mystery. There are a lot of people out there who are wizards at focusing people’s anger. Usually the anger is aimed at things that really didn’t cause it, but try telling the angry person that! There is job insecurity and stagnant wages and people are angry at the poorest people in the country over it. What? This makes no sense. It is not logical, it doesn’t follow they weird illogics of economics, it is not true in any way, yet almost 50% of the people in this country blame the poor and illegal immigrants for all of the country’s economic woes. Anger today is the driver of so, so much. Fear and the misplaced anger it inspires is behind the Brexit and is the reason Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee, possibly the US’s next president.
Hatred follows on the heels of anger. There is far, far too much hate in the world. Much of it is misplaced and follows that misplaced anger. It is also often a thin disguise for something else. Many white people hate the Black Lives Matters movement and that hatred is sometimes really just a cover for the deeper racism that lies beneath. OK, some of the hatred is really due to being misled of the real nature of the movement and not taking the time to understand the other point of view.
Of course hatred often leads to violence. Last week five police officers in Dallas were killed over unreasonable hatred. Last night dozens of French citizens (and foreigners, and children) were killed over unreasonable hatred. (Ironically last night one of the first people killed by an Islamic extremist was a devout Muslim. Hate has no logic.) Violence breeds violence. Of course violence is usually just a symptom, but too often the symptom can be catastrophic.
Oh, oh, oh, how much I have to simplify! How much I have to leave out! How much more I want to say! Perhaps this little tirade will stand as a cornerstone to further posts. I have a post I want to call “Walk a While in Another’s Footwear, Even When They Don’t Wear Any”. I have written thousands of words on this and deleted it every time because it has veered so far off course. Someday. And as I said, I want to write about Black and White Thinking. And perhaps I will take on fear, anger, hatred and violence one at a time. Perhaps. It is so, so much….
The world has gone crazy. The future can be so bright, particularly if everyone is involved, yet I have this sinking feeling that this great civilization we have built will not last, that like every other civilization of the past it will soon collapse. We might not have a dark ages quite as deep as those following the collapse of the Mycenae or Roman civilizations, but dark times may lay ahead. OK, most of the time I am an optimist, but there are so many signs that we are becoming too unhinged and are hastening our own destruction that it is occasionally hard to keep that upbeat viewpoint. And no, I don’t think radical Islam has the power to dent our civilization let alone break it, the downfall will come from the major powers themselves.
My little voice can’t really do very much, but every so often I have to speak out. Of course, if you were paying attention I really didn’t speak out about much, but then again, this is just a preamble. Or perhaps it is just a ramble. Anyway, take it for what it is worth, just trying to distill my 1,000,000,000 word into a manageable size post…
Hope I didn’t bore you too much. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to dig into the meat of the matter.