Do you ever look at the human race as a species and feel like we all collectively suck at life?
I do, right now, as I type this. After having just found out some random asshole purposefully flew a plane full of innocent people into the side of a mountain.
He killed mothers. Someone’s son. A kid’s father. He decided to cut short one hundred and fifty lives, including his own, when all he should have cut short was one. He should have found a quiet room, far away from anyone else, and hung a noose, or put a gun to his temple, or ate a bottle full of pills, or anything but fly a plane into the side of a mountain.
This scumbag decided he would rob high school kids of their first love, their first heart break and the opportunity to be an adult and leave their mark on this world. He took away a father’s chance to walk his daughter down the aisle. He took away a daughter’s chance to walk down the aisle with her father. Girls who will never grow up to buy their first home. Men who will never get to hold their first grandchild. Parents who won’t get to hang macaroni artwork on their fridge. Babies who will never learn to sleep in a big kid bed. He chose to end the lives of people he never even knew, and whatever the reason, it will never a good enough one to justify any of it.
You know what’s sad? When you sit down and think about how many people have it so terribly bad right now. Sad isn’t even the right word to describe it. Overwhelmingly depressing comes closer. But, our hearts weren’t made to bear witness to such suffering on a daily basis, so we live our lives, and complain about our own random idiosyncrasies, like Dunkin Donuts getting our coffee order wrong…again.
I bet you that on the street you live on right now, someone is either going to bed hungry or having a tough time making ends meet to pay this month’s bills. Go past your street and I know that your town or city is full of people being emotionally and physically abused. Past that, parts of this country are just plain poor, in various states of dilapidation and civil unrest, where it is dangerous to leave your house to go buy some milk. Cross the border, or hop on a plane and you come across some seriously messed up shit. Babies dying from diseases and hunger. Little kids wielding guns. Rape as common as the day is long. War and the destruction it leaves in its wake.
Human beings are simultaneously the smartest and stupidest creatures on this planet. We discover new lands with the boats we build, and give birth to slavery and racism. We build towers that scrape the sky, and then tear them down with the very planes we were intelligent enough to invent not so long ago. We cure diseases, only to instead kill people with the weapons we create in fancy laboratories.
And we have such little regard for life. We are so violent. Not you, or me per say, or your friends and your family, but collectively as a species we don’t have it figured at all. To quote Agent Smith from The Matrix: I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus.
Why? Why do we suck so badly at being human? Is it the few rotten apples that truly spoil the batch? The child labor in Ethopia, Boko Haram, the Iraqi civil war, the Mexican drug war, the Yemeni crisis, India becoming the rape capital of the world…do we all just blame that on a few bad seeds?
Or closer to home. Why do human beings shoot up movie theaters and cafeterias, blow up hospitals and subway stations? Why do first graders get robbed of their chance to live?
I have no answers. And I am guilty of compartmentalizing my daily life as much as the next person. I sit here and type one sentence about Newtown and my eyes fill up with tears. I can’t even begin to think about all the kids who are dying as I write this because of war and hunger. Like I said, our hearts aren’t equipped to handle so much pain. Some days, I wake up thinking I shouldn’t have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders , and that I should be allowed my little bubble of contentment, with its own small tragedies and triumphs. And most days, if I am brutally and terribly honest, the wars and injustices of the world simply don’t even form a thought in my mind, as I meander on with my own insignificant shit.
I just woke up today, and read that one asshole decided to fly a plane into the side of a mountain on purpose and it made me sad. Sad that we can be smart enough to build machines that defy gravity, and stupid enough to use them for something so senseless.
Rest in peace, all the souls aboard flight 9525, and to the rest of the world, let’s fucking get it together, dudes.
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