“Man is subject to innumerable pains and sorrows by the very condition of humanity, and yet, as if nature had not sown evils enough in life, we are continually adding grief to grief and aggravating the common calamity by our cruel treatment of one another.” — Joseph Addison
Too Bad We Do Not Learn From History
I’m reading May Sarton’s “House by the Sea,” a journal of a year she spent in Maine with a view of the ocean in the 1970s. In it she talks about the landscape, gardening, writing and simply her thoughts, which include those on how cruel the world has become.
Being of an age, like me, these thoughts included the Vietnam era, and the Mai Lai massacre. If she were writing today, she would, I am sure, have mentioned how history repeated itself with the torture of Iraqi prisoners and all the other horrible events as the world continues too much in the butt-ugly ways of war. What she might have missed, however, is the butt-ugliness of jokes being played on people for the benefit of the TV viewing audience these days. I watched my grandsons laugh at one of these cruel pranks the other day, one in which I found absolutely nothing amusing. The goal of the hoax was nothing but humiliation of the victim.
How different is this from the bullying that is allowed to go on in schools to the point that victims have committed suicide?
And then two days ago, I picked up the young adult book, “The Hunger Games.” It was a gripping piece of writing that I admit I couldn’t put down. But when I finished it, I had a very bad taste in my soul. For one thing, a book that is all about children killing other children should never be labeled a kids’ book; and for another, the sheepish way in which the fictional population so callously allowed this to happen, even going so far as to bet on the outcome.
I kept waiting for someone to do something. Hopefully the sequels answer this wish, although I’m not sure I will read them to find out. My soul can only stand so much brutality.
The book put me in the mind of the Holocaust, when all that was needed for evil to triumph was for the good to turn their backs and do nothing.
The Pollyanna in me believes, no KNOWS, that the good people in this world outnumber the bad. So when are we going to stand up and holler enough is enough? A good place to start is simply for adults to tell children that there is nothing funny in cruel jokes. You can bet on my grandchildren hearing this from me.
Bean’s Pat: Words of Wisdom http://tinyurl.com/a4s78pp This just seemed like an appropriate blog to accompany today’s soap-box rant.