Every time I turn on the news lately what I see makes me choke back tears. Week after week, there is tragedy we must mourn. I feel anxiety and confusion. I struggle to wrap my head around the events, time after time. I get an overwhelming feeling of doom. This morning, I imagined what someone in the future might write about these tumultuous times:
We all thought the “end of days” would look like Mad Max or Terminator or something. We thought it would come all at once, with fire and brimstone raining from the sky in an unquestionable act of divine vengeance and with a single human embodiment of evil at the helm of the destruction. But it didn’t. It was a slow build, like a pot coming to a boil on the stove. No one really noticed, until it was a full rolling boil being poured down squarely upon us. It started innocently enough. It was just us humans running around exercising our “free will.” Then the will of one obstructed the will of another, and so on and so forth, until conflict filled the Earth. The moral fiber of society began to wear away bit by bit; until we were so far gone we could no longer find our way back to our humanity. A muddy mixture of moral relativism and hardline religion made us unable to discern between right and wrong. Somewhere along the way our collective need to advance our own desires and our insistence on being “right” started to supersede our instinct to survive as a species. So we said, “Hey, no thanks, Creator. We don’t need your stinking Revelation, Hollywood-special-effects-style ending. Nope! We have our OWN plans for self-destruction…and they are glorious!”
“Would you believe we’re just gonna start killing each other more and more and more, until finally, POOF, no more people? First, we’re gonna kill people that live in different parts of the world…just because they live in a different part of the world and they’re different than us. Yup! Then we’re gonna start killing people that live in the same part of the world as us, but they’re different. You know, they have skin like us, but it’s a different color. Oh, and we’re also gonna kill people who want to date/marry/have sex with people that are the same sex. Why? Because of that book you wrote…the Bible, the Koran, something like that…well, okay, the one you had us write for you, but you get it. We’re also gonna make it so that people who have psychological and emotional problems can’t get the help they need, so some of them, the ones who are in the most pain, will just start killing random people. Sounds pretty great so far, huh? Oh, but that’s just the beginning! Yeah, we’re also gonna poison the water, the soil, and the air, so that our planet’s climate and weather patterns create destruction, too. Yeah, and that’ll totally be a ‘kill two birds with one big-ass stone’ situation, because the poisons will also be in our food, and that’ll kill even more people by making them sick! I know, right? This is SO epic!”
This sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But this is what it would look like to a visitor from another world. I cannot believe that we have taken so many steps forward only to find ourselves twice as many steps back. Black lives matter. Yes, gay lives matter. Yes, Latin lives matter. Yes, Asian lives matter. Christian lives matter, and Muslim lives matter. Even law enforcement lives matter. Lives matter. Why do we even have to say that? God, himself, would tell us as much. But right now it is black lives that are being disproportionately devalued.
What do we have to do to find our way back to preserving our species and our planet? We can start by rejecting the values of modern society – that of self over others, personal gain over public good, monetary wealth over spiritual growth, and suspicion of “others” over acceptance and embrace of them. I’m a pretty old human, and I feel like I’m an even older soul, but I’m becoming a very weary human and an even wearier soul. Please, for the sake of our children, leave the destruction of the human race for the fantasies of Hollywood filmmakers. Let’s watch the pot, my fellow human beings, because, after all, they say, “A watched pot never boils.”