It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad world
by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, November 17, 2015
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
The world has gone mad. There’s no denying this, but if we can gain any solace from our current predicament, it’s that it’s not the first time, and unfortunately, it won’t be the last. We have a history of madness in the family if you will.
In the Christian tradition this is known as original sin. The fall of man. The point where we left the Garden and were broken forever. Other cultures have their own origin story, but here in the West, where a majority still identify with a Judeo-Christian faith, we left the safety of The Garden and entered a world of violence and madness.
It’s always there in a low level form, the madness. It exists as mild paranoia, delusions, manic attitudes, violent outbursts or just an overall sense of malaise. These are the cause of a whole range of issues within our own family, but generally they aren’t dangerous to our neighbors.
But then every few years, the voices in our collective heads start to get too loud and it erupts into a full blown psychotic fit.
I think the madness is brought on by some sort of virus. Something that enters through the ears and burrows into your brain, affecting your outlook on the world. There isn’t a single source for this. It can come from both the left or the right. There’s rumor that foxes carry the virus, but who knows if it’s really that simple.
It starts with a small group of people and then spreads, like an epidemic of idiots, until one group decides that the only answer to our problems, is war.
Then we collectively lose our shit. We don’t just disagree with the neighbors, we want to kill them. Our politicians give speeches about how evil the other group is. They tell lies and make up stories so that we’ll feel good about the pain and suffering we’re about to unleash on another group of people who’s politicians are telling them the same things about us. Then hundreds of thousands of people die for no apparent reason. In the end, nothing is accomplished except the ravaging of a country or two, millions of families ripped apart or left as widows and orphans. Nothing else really changes.
We have a new virus though, and it’s in danger of becoming a full blown pandemic.
The madness takes shape in the form of the belief that we can wage a war with no personal stake in the fight. We won’t actually use soldiers. There will be no boots on the ground. We’ll just spend our children’s future on high tech warfare and we’ll try to bomb them back to the stone age. It will work, they tell us. Not because it ever has in the past, but because we don’t have a choice.
And that’s the lie. That’s the virus. The truth is we do have a choice. We can choose to stop the cycle of violence by not participating. We can’t do it all at once. But we can start today. Start small. Start by listening to voices other than your own. Not the voices in your head that spread fear, but the voices of opposition.
Jawaharlal Nehru said, “Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.”
We need peaceful minds before we can become a peaceful nation. We need to learn to be quiet. To listen. To empathize. To care for one another. To do what we can to make this life just a little easier.