Mrs G was feeling a bit scared about the world, last year seemed to have been particularly crazy full of terrible events and even worse people. The beginnings of this year aren’t looking any better.
It would be easy to quit on the human race at this point, we seem to be on a race to the bottom and backing Team Hell-in-a-Handcart. Why should we have any optimism for the future?
I believe we should, because humanity is not as bad as we expect.
It is wrong to judge the level of badness by historical standards, but as a species we have done some pretty deplorable things. We still do. Yet we have shown time and time again we can rise above the greed and self interest to be better.
Women got the vote, slavery in the Western hemisphere was abolished, we eradicated smallpox, we have been the far reaches of the solar system, we have created great works of art, we have rolled back tyrants one after another.
Yes, we don’t always get the roots of the weeds, fascism may be defeated but we still have authoritarianism creeping with it’s insidious tendrils. When those weeds flower we will find them and rip them from the ground even if we have to do it a thousand times.
People will get hurt, and that is unfair, but if we don’t believe they died for something then what was the point of their lives. We need martyrs to hang our colours from and give a reason to fight, there is no campaign without a cause.
All the victories of the good have been hard-earned, which is ironic because the bad guys win easy. It is against those insurmountable odds that we show our greatness, and that’s why I believe that even though the world seems scary and dangerous we will prevail.
We just cannot believe anything else.
In Reason to Believe, Bruce Springsteen sings, “At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe.” What’s your reason to believe?
Source: Reason to Believe