Tuesday, November 27, 2018

How Do You Deal With a World Full of Monsters?

Hi, welcome to my constant existential crisis.

Don't tell me to focus on the good people in the world. My problem is that there is so clearly not enough good people. Actually, there's not enough people who exhibit basic human decency or the slightest inkling of compassion. I can go onto Twitter right now and witness scores of people defending and celebrating the tear gassing of children, calling these refugees "invaders," advocating for lethal force against mothers and their children, or claiming to care but fretting about how we can possibly come up with the money to support a mere 5,000 refugees right after the government decided to spend millions to send military troops to the border.

These people aren't so far from me. I see friends of friends on Facebook pulling this shit. And no amount of saying "they're human beings trying to survive and if we don't let them in we're likely condemning many of them to suffering and early death" will move them. I spent so many years trying to argue people into compassion. More recently, when I do get into internet arguments, I'm more likely to beg. I beg people to listen to me, to try to have compassion, to at least stop viewing our interaction as a battle to be won or lost and actually imagine how much these people must be suffering to walk all the way across Mexico in a desperate bid to give their children a decent life.

I've tried talking people into compassion. I've tried begging them. And this experience is leading me to believe that there are a shit load of people out there who are simply incapable of actual compassion. They might be able to fake it when it's convenient for them, but when it's not, they're willing to throw whoever the fuck under the bus. Enough people are like this that the human species has committed horrific atrocities again and again and again and said "never again" just to forget over a few generations and do it again. It's starting to feel inevitable.

I'm not sure how to cope with that.

At this point, becoming completely selfish sounds very appealing. Not becoming an asshole, but giving up on the world and focusing only on making myself a happier, more fulfilled person. I honestly would not condemn anyone who chose that path. But at this point, I can't do that. Other people's suffering still hurts me. I can't do nothing. But what I am doing still doesn't feel like enough. Not even close. I don't know what to do.

No comments: