Oh. Em. Gee. I am sick to DEATH of the "end times" rhetoric.
Listen people...the world is in no worse shape than it was a century ago. And people are no more evil than they were a century ago. I can't argue that it seems that way sometimes, but I really think it's just the ever widening sphere of digital information and the increasingly invasive and exploitive nature of the media. We have global awareness now, in a way that was never possible in generations past. We are Facetime, Skype, YouTube aware. We are realtime, high definition, multiplayer aware.
A hundred years ago, we might never have heard about the tragedy in Boston. Fifty years ago, it might have been reported on the nightly news by Walter Cronkite, perhaps made the front page of our local newspaper. We could turn one off and throw the other way. We weren't bombarded by information and images twenty four hours a day until all we could do was bury our heads in the sand like a nation of weeping ostriches to escape the the horror and the heartbreak. My God...look how long it took the world to realize what Hitler was doing. Nobody knew. Nobody could. So the scope of that atrocity was far greater than anything most of us have experienced in our lifetime, even 9/11.
In reality, our world is shrinking and the people in it are evolving. Our past is far more blood soaked than our present. Crack open any history book. Hell, crack open the Bible. They are full of lunatics, maniacs and deviants of every variety. And it's also full of people who elevated and revered them and then rode their whackadoodle coattails into the history books.
You honestly don't even have to look very hard to find examples. Elizabeth Bathory? Caligula? Ghengis Kahn? Mao Zedong. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler? Those are just a few noodles in the soup of our insanity and bloodlust.
One of my facebook friends once asked....if time travel became a reality someday, to which era would we choose to travel? Now, as a full blown nostalgia addict, I'm a master at romanticizing bygone eras. But when I really thought about it, I had to admit that some would make me merely reluctant; others, downright terrified. Because once, bigotry, hatred, oppression, injustice, exploitation and violence were an accepted and expected way of life. Can you imagine being a woman in pretty much any era prior to 1970? A black man? A homoseuxal of either gender? Sometimes minorities were simply ignored and marginalized, but sometimes they were treated as subhuman chattel. No thank you.
But we ARE learning to respect and love one another. We ARE learning about equality and colorblindness and social responsibility. The fact that a marriage equality is even at issue is proof of that. Once, such a thing would have been patently unthinkable. As would other social conventions that we have come to embrace in the new millenium. Women supporting families? Running businesses? Making laws? PREPOSTEROUS! Integrated schools and businesses? INCONCEIVABLE! Political and Religious freedom? HERESY! Democracy? IMPOSSIBLE!
The fact that we question things that were once simply accepted, such as human trafficking, Apartheid, organized crime, dictatorship, child abuse and exploitation....
You see what I mean? We've come a very long way. Hitler could never come to power in today's world. People will argue with that. But I will defend that stance with gusto. Could. Not. Happen. And these days Elizabeth Bathory would likely be diagnosed with some kind of mental illness, medicated to the gills and put in restraints for the rest of her life.
Yes, evil people walk among us. They always will. But for every evil person who rigs a bomb to explode during a time honored and iconic event, there are a hundred whose kindness and humanity shines through the pall of hatred and violence to demonstrate what mankind is really about. And the Boston tragedy is a testament to that. Nobody stopped to ask the injured the state of their soul, the slant of their politics, or the nature of their sexuality before offering aid. They just did what needed to be done, because nothing else mattered other than the fact that fellow human beings were suffering and terrified.
These are NOT the end times. In fact, I'd say we are witnessing the dawn of a gentler era; one of social, political and more importnatly....humanitarian reform. It's going to take a a long, long, long time to reach it's zenith, but at least it's on the horizon. I really do believe that.
I don't think God is angry enough to wipe us out of existence. If he's up there at all, (and you know my opinion on that) I think he might actually be kind of proud. His thoughts are probably along the lines of..."Well, they're slow learners but I do believe they're finally beginning to catch on. Maybe in another millenia or so....."
End Times. Puh. Leez.