I’ve received a few gentle reminders that it has been a while since I posted my last article. Part of that has been due to distractions such as ‘fun in the dental chair’ and the absenting of a tooth I once felt close to. It’s difficult to focus creatively when the dentist grabs you by the head and says, ‘Okay, now I’m going to wiggle a bit.’ Apparently you shouldn’t laugh when she is extracting a tooth older than she is.
During these last few weeks, it has been difficult to know what to write without making matters worse. The events that have plagued us remain an open and sensitive wound on the universal soul. We’ve endured hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, mass-killings at home and abroad, and the public has responded predictably.
The Fundamentalists are excited because they believe we are at the End of Days. The world is coming to an end, and all the sinful little SOBs are going to hell (they say) while they go to Heaven because they’re holy people. Celebrities are making sure the public knows how upset and indignant they are by making outrageous and inaccurate/false statements. If you challenge their ‘assertions’, you are ignored or verbally abused. No one likes having their publicity doubted. People are screaming solutions to problems they have no means of controlling–screams that will be supported and ignored by those in power. In the meanwhile, leadership is doing nothing helpful, and is fighting within its own ranks.
Many others are stunned by what has happened, whether the destructive acts are committed by Nature or by Humankind. ‘What is happening to our country/world/humanity?’ they cry, and the downhill slide begins. They’ve lost perspective–perhaps in the tension of the moment, we all have.
Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, Marseilles–all those killings were committed by one or two sick, or perhaps evil, individuals, not ‘humanity, the country, or the world,’ but they’ve been cited as such. (The Sandy Hook shootings took place in 2012, but is still remarked upon in connexion with current events.) One person–not a nation or a race.
In all of this, though, there is good news. Many people have been genuinely and selflessly distraught by these acts of evil. Others have deliberately put themselves in harm’s way to save the lives of complete strangers, to ease the suffering of victims. Victims themselves have struggled to help other victims. They do this from selfless consideration and genuine compassion, with no view to self-aggrandizement, publicity, or reward.
So long as there is some real compassion in the world, humanity will struggle, but triumph.
So long as there is the tiniest speck of light, Darkness will not prevail.
Paul TN Chapman
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