Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Man's evil ways

I was scanning the news this morning on the Internet and was struck by the apparent disintegration of society.

I guess I really thought hard about it lately during the crisis in New Orleans. People were attacked, starved, ignored, threatened, raped, killed, drowned, neglected, and brutalized not only by nature, but by other human beings.

It seems as if serial killers and pedophiles are coming out of the woodwork. The headlines are rife with their deeds. Viciousness abounds. Rudeness and selfishness are givens in everyday society. Hate is everywhere. Genocide is commonplace, as are murder, rape, torture, lying, stealing, cheating, greed, gluttony – all the seven original sins and then some. Nothing really shocks us anymore.

What is happening? And, whose fault is it -- the parents, schools, churches, government, other people, or a breakdown of society in general? Is this something new, or has man been evil since the dawn of man? Is this the nature of man?

It seems that when I was growing up in the 1940s, life was simpler. You went to school, you said please, thank you, and may I, you said the Pledge of Allegiance every day at the start of school, and you did not steal, cheat, or intentionally hurt others. You were mortified if you embarrassed others. Yes, there were criminals at every level of society, but we were blissfully unaware. We walked everywhere with no qualms or trepidation. In fact, we rode the train into Chicago without escort at a very early age and never felt fearful. We played outside until dark with hardly any contact with parents unless we were forced to. We don’t remember being or feeling threatened by anyone in our little world.

Yes, I remember certain incidents in the past that would most likely qualify as unacceptable even in today’s society. There were suicides, rapes, sexual assaults, mental illness, incest, murders, and other acts against society that were horrendous even to those of us who were oblivious. But, we lived a 1950s Beaver Cleaver world where bad things didn’t happen to nice people and bad things were kept hushed up and not talked about, especially in front of the impressionable children. (Like the cousin none of us knew about until he sought us out more than fifty years later when he was searching for his roots and answers. The aunt and uncle still alive at the time of our cousin’s inquiry denied any knowledge of their sister’s pregnancy and refused to acknowledge his existence as a member of the family even though his physical resemblance is undeniable and his birth certificate does not lie.)

So, maybe these atrocities happened all the time but we were oblivious to them because of a silent conspiracy by our parents and the other adults around us. It just wasn’t polite to discuss bad things in front of the kids – only in whispers where others couldn’t hear.

Maybe things haven’t gotten worse after all. Maybe now we are just inundated constantly by the media because all the news not fit to print will sell more newspapers than good news any old day of the week. Sensationalism and reality TV garner a larger viewer share because we have become a society of voyeurs. And a larger audience equates a larger profit. Profit, after all is said and done, is the motive for our existence in a capitalistic society. And, greed is good. We are the envy of the world and everyone wants to live here.

But, what must other societies in the universe think of us?


At September 20, 2005 12:25 PM, Blogger Alipurr said...

There is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes, i think....i agree, media attention makes us more appalled and more numb.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home