I started to write this post several times because I didn't know where to begin. I am dumbfounded by the kind of society we have become. I am puzzled by the things for which we have no regard and the things that we choose to hold dear.
- We love Walmart. I can understand that. Their prices are ridiculously cheap on most items, although the experience of actually shopping in a Walmart can sometimes (most times) be surreal.
- We love the Kardashians. This I do not understand. I can, to some extent, understand people's appreciation for actors, actresses, sports figures and other celebrities noted for some type of accomplishment. But, I do not understand the appeal of the Kardashians. They don't even have that "Oh my God! I can't look away" appeal. They are vapid, meaningless and not at all relatable to the common person, especially to those that hang on to their every word and action.
- We love religion. Our own religion, of course, not yours. We will argue and defend our faith and our spiritual beliefs in the most caustic, confrontational and violent ways possible — just to prove that my made-up deity is the right made-up deity and your made-up deity is stupid.
- And last, but certainly not least, we love guns. We love to shoot them. We love to threaten with them. We love to wave them around and talk about how it's our God-given right to own them. We love to stockpile them and misquote the Constitution about them.
Y'know what we don't love? We don't love life. We don't love peace. We don't love respect. We don't love compassion. We don't love integrity. We don't love truth. We think we love these things, we say we love these things, but we really don't.
Here's the part I don't understand? The things we don't love are easy things. They come naturally. They're instinctive. They're human nature. The other things — the things we consciously choose to cherish — take effort and money and concentration.
There have been 82,000 gun-related deaths in the United States since Adam Lanza shot and killed 28 people in Sandy Hook, Connecticut in 2012. 82,000 in three years. That's absurd! What are we doing to each other and why aren't we doing anything about it? It's sad that we care more about killing each other than we do about just each other. If someone doesn't share your opinion, that's okay. You don't have to kill them. If you don't like someone, that's okay. Ignore them. Steer clear of them. You don't have to kill them. Look, I won't hide the fact that I have wished for the deaths of a lot of people, but I would never actually attempt to cause those deaths. I've wished for a million dollars and for the skies to open up and rain ice cream, too. These are just things I hope would happen. I would never act on it or help it along.
Comedian/director Bobcat Goldthwait offered this observation in his 2011 biting satire God Bless America: "Why have a civilization anymore if we no longer are interested in being civilized?"
The whole thing is upsetting and, sadly, it will continue. But it doesn't have to.