Violence so sad
Watching the news these days, we cannot help but observe how the world seems to be turning more violent. Top of these is the recent increase of tension in the Middle East after Iranians ransacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran. The news says it is a complex issue following a long history of rivalry not entirely rooted on religion.
Then there is the almost-vitriolic opposition by Republicans to the move by US president Barrack Obama to increase background checks on the sale of guns in the US. To somebody watching all these from a distance, these all seem rather intriguing and bothersome. Why so much to do over guns? Why would people go to the streets to attack a foreign embassy when they can spend the day at home or at work, peacefully drinking coffee or reading or whatever?
People are taking a turn towards taking everything too seriously these days that it seems we have come to a time when we should validate and valorize simple human urges that ordinarily are not validated and valorized; urges such as laziness, taking things easy, and otherwise, considering that the world will go its own merry way with or without us. We do not have to be involved. And most especially when people begin to use force.
And we might as well put all these inside the bigger context of life itself and how inconsequential in its travel we all individually are. And then ask ourselves: What does truly matter to us? Not us, universally, but “us” in the smallest and most intimate sense.
Humans in small number or small social units are rational. Humans in large, complex, social units become rather mindless, prone to putting themselves at the mercy and consequence of historical tides and movements. And in most cases, these historical tides and movements begin with demagogues posing as our saviors.
“Hey, look,” we might as well say, “the world will not be saved.” And what’s more: “What sort of saving does it really need, unless from demagogues posing as saviors laying to waste what would have been a nice and peaceful day?”
We are all still the consequence of the Modern Age. And yet the Modern Age is falling all about us. Hard for us to realize how our children are not of the Modern Age. They do not care for the things we care about. Modern man is inevitably, inexorably, and sometimes so stupidly, in a hurry. Modern man is in a hurry to change the world, in his mind, for the better. His tragedy is never ever considering to snap his fingers at himself and then ask: “How do you know what is for the better?”
What does “for the better” even mean? A new 7-Eleven in the boondocks of Mantalongon? Would that be for the better?
The problem is Modern man cannot and never argues against progress. He is, in that way, inutile and impotent. In that way, he marginalizes himself against the primacy of his most ridiculously absurd dreams driven at times simply by mindless inertia.
There is a problem when we begin to progress on the basis of just progress itself. The forward-upward movement of everything in the economy seems rather nice. But one must wonder, what is its basis? And can it really go on indefinitely?
These are fundamental questions Modern man has to ask himself, especially as the most inevitable consequences of unbridled progress overtake all of us. The world is overheating in more ways than we have talked about. It is not just global warming in the sense of the planet. There is also a sense of overheating in some of its inhabitants. And they oftentimes react by becoming unseemly violent and forcing themselves on everyone else; otherwise, there is their tendency to endorse violence-prone demagogues into positions of power.
In the face of all that is happening in the world, the holidays should convince us still further of the virtue of taking every day as a holiday from the rather exaggerated nature of the contemporary world. Life is not a movie where the good guys, if not the bad guys, win in end. The greatest winners are those who spend the most lazy, loving, peaceful, inconsequential day of their lives.
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