Every generation proclaims theirs is the worst ever — and guess what?
Every generation is right. The hideous truth is: The collective heart of humankind has always had a deep streak of wickedness, perversity, and deceit.
Today, like no other time in the history of humankind, this has never been more true. Human existence has arrived yet again at a record low of utter chaos, unparalleled ridiculousness, and unbearable despair. And we can attribute this to at least three things:
- the reach, grasp, and speed of the Internet that feeds our insatiable and predatory greed and envy and spread stupidity wide and far;
- the weapons of mass destruction available to the average citizen with which the evilest among us can now efficiently annihilate other souls en masse; and
- our unparallel selfishness, stupidity, and inability to learn from history and locate our souls.
In other words, after thousands and thousands of years of modern civilization, we are still so reprehensibly, stupidly, and dangerously uncivilized to our fellow humans — and our planet. If humanity’s social progress was a job, it wouldn’t make it beyond the 90-day probation period with any employer. Yet, we pat ourselves on the back and settle for “enough.”
And before someone gets up on a high horse and starts disrespectfully pissing on what I just said in the comments. Please shut up, hold your pee, and face the facts. The fact is, life is a paradox. Yes, some social progress has been made. Life is better in many ways even for the most oppressed among us in the West. And yet, it isn’t. Because there are social “games” in play that we aren’t privy to that perpetuate injustice, inequality, and the denial of the “good” life for most of us.
Here’s another fact: The financially elite who are predominately White make sure to keep their gerrymandering and the rules of the “game” hidden from us. Plus, they keep too many of us confused and infighting, while they abscond with the “good” life and justice.
Not too long ago, ABC News did a heart-rending story on Southern Madagascar. Apparently, they’re the first unlucky beneficiaries of drought and famine as the result of climate change. And what is so disgusting about this story is that the people of this region — especially the mothers and the children — are suffering and dying because we in the West can’t have enough of the “good” life.
In other words, these people only contribute 0.01% to carbon emissions but they are the ones paying the steep price of the West’s gross selfishness, greed, and excess.
On a personal note, as a Black woman living in America, I live in a constant state of fear. You can’t tell it by looking at me. You can’t tell it by how I choose to move through my days. You can’t tell it by how I interact with White people. But I’m in a constant state of waiting. Waiting for the evil of systemic racism coupled with widespread, utter stupidity and selfishness to come knocking at my door, the doors of people I love, and the doors of other people of color. Just like the Nazis and average everyday German citizens came knocking at the doors of Jewish people during the Holocaust!
So when I consider the current state of humanity, I can’t help but ask: What is optimism?
For those whose destinies are stolen to satisfy the means to another’s end.
For those crushed beneath the lack of the basics every human being deserves to satisfy ravenous consumers;
For those whose hunger will not be fed to satisfy those that know not “enough;”
For those whose bodies are pillaged and peddled to satisfy base carnality;
For those whose spirits are trampled to satisfy those too weak or too stupid to be good and kind;
For those who have not the luxury of leisure and stability to anguish over what or who to be or the option to choose between good, best, and even better;
Every generation is the worst to date.
What is optimism for those who die unwashed, unknown, unloved, and without?
It’s for them I despair; it’s for them I grieve; for they are us and we are them.
So optimism may well be an illusion for those of us whose bellies are round and full from too much and whose skin — especially if it’s White — is smooth and cool to the touch.
In light of all this, I would be an idiot to feel optimistic.