Some things make me angry. Many are the same things that make you angry – things like heinous crimes committed against innocent victims, genocide, the oppression of the weak by the strong, etc. But what really leaves me shaking with rage is the fact that this is not all happening in a vacuum. Sure, many crimes are carried out in the darkness, away from the watching eyes of potential witnesses. But a great many, I’d say the majority, are talking place right in front of us . . . and we do nothing.
The Penn state scandal has become, for me, a sort of symbol of what is wrong is our world. As much as we’d like to distance ourselves from the wickedness of pedophiles like Jery Sandusky and cowards like Mike McQueary and anyone else who saw or knew and did nothing, I fear we have more in common with them than we care to admit. I know, I know, you would NEVER abuse a child like that moster did . . . and if YOU saw someone raping a child you would NEVER ignore it. You’d call for help! You’d put a stop to it! You’d stomp his ASS! That’s what you’d do . . . right? That’s certainly what I’d do. You would never think anything like, “It’s none of my business . . . I can’t get involved . . . I wasn’t sure what to do . . . ” . . . would you? Of course not – we’re GOOD PEOPLE. We’re not monsters like them.
Look around – all over this world people are suffering, dying. Children are starving. Entire ethnic groups are being wiped out. Military regimes are crushing people by the millions. The poor are being oppressed. Petty crimes are being committed in full view of public eyes, but no one is putting a stop to any of it. Studies show that most people will NOT get involved when they see a crime being committed UNTIL one person gets involved. Everyone is waiting for Someone Else to do something.
I sure wish Someone Else would hurry up and get here. If Someone Else would just step up, be brave, be strong, I would join him or her. Someone Else would know what to do. Someone Else could fix it. The problem with waiting for Someone Else is that it’s kind of like waiting for tomorrow . . . it never comes. It is always today.
What are we when we live our lives with our heads down, miding our own business, working our jobs, paying our bills, making sure our own families are safe, while people are suffering all around us? What are we when we live disconnected from the larger world, as if nothing that happens “out there” has anything to do with us? How is that not monstrous?
I guess my point is this – we simply MUST stop living our lives as if we are the center. We are all part of a living, breathing sea of humanity. And the truth is that you did not get where you are all by yourself. That stuff about “rugged individualism” and the “self-made man or woman” is crap . . . a stinking pile of crap. And so is this macho bullshit that says, “I don’t need anyone’s help.” We are connected – we need each other -we are involved, whether we like it or not. If one of us suffers, we all suffer. If monstrous acts are allowed to go on unchecked in our world, we are all diminished by it. We must not allow ourselves to stay in the comfortable little boxes we call a life. Life is going on out there, and it isn’t always pretty. And it’s not just the monsters who make it ugly . . . it’s the good people who are waiting for Someone Else to make it all better. So be better. Choose to be Someone Else.
I wasn inspired to write this after reading this blog . . . check it out . . .