Why does this stuff happen?
I went to see Wonder Woman yesterday. because I have a great affinity for superheroes - DC, Marvel - it doesn't matter, and my favorite of the superheroes are the ones who are flawed but still manage to do good in their world. Iron Man, the supreme asshole of assholes, uses his extraordinary mind to combat the evil that threatens mankind. Deadpool is hired muscle who beats up people before his "conversion" - but the people are really bad people who deserve getting beaten up. But, I digress. I really want to discuss Wonder Woman, and her innocent but rather endearing idea that all evil in the world is the fault of one person.
You know, our world today is still making the same assumptions. When something horrible happens, we look for the culprit - the one to whom we can assign the blame, and hopefully, dole out the punishment. Last night, a man crashed a van into a group of Muslim worshippers as they left their Mosque. From the moment it happened, there were people trying to answer the difficult questions. Who did this? Why did they do it? Was it a part of a bigger plan? Then, as hours passed, the questions had different answers, depending on the outlook of the speaker. One group said that it was the result of hate groups pinning the actions of radical Muslims on all Muslims in general. Another group said that it was the fault of the politicians in Europe, who refuse to take a "strong stand" on the Muslim communities. I even heard it blamed on the American President, Donald Trump, and his fanning of the flames of intolerance. Wouldn't it be great if we could find one true villian, and by ridding the world of that person, the seeds of hatred would be unsown and the hearts of all men would be filled with understanding and compassion?
From the beginning of time, man has questioned his world. " Why do the innocent suffer and die?" "Why do evil men escape punishment?" " Why do natural disasters happen? " The truth is that it is what it is...there is no answer to questions that have no beginning. Religious figures would like to point back to Adam and Eve, and the fruit that they ate. In the book of Genesis, it says that Adam, when faced with the wrath of God over his disobedience, blamed his choice to eat the fruit on his wife. Then Eve. looking into the face of God, blamed the snake - the devil. Even then, when the world was new and man made his first mistake (according to Jewish and Christian texts), he was not humble and accepting of his judgment and punishment. That one incident of the passing of blame and unacceptance of choice, has led to one and then another - to this day in the year 2017.
Now, your question must be, understandably, what do I have to do with all of the bad things in the world? How can I be blamed that a madman ran a car into a group of people on the other side of the world? You cannot think that I had anything to do with that? Ah, but yes, we all hold a part of the responsibility. How many times have you heard someone demonize a group of people for some imagined slight or stereotype? Maybe, just maybe, you have been the one to pass judgment. And, you might be saying, "of course, I judge people. Murderers, thieves, child molesters...they all deserve to be judged." Okay, so these people do bad things, and they do deserve to have consequences for their actions. That is why we have laws, and police...and courts. But what about the other people you judge? The homeless man in front of the grocery store, the girl with a lot of tattoos and a short skirt, the single Mom with 3 kids paying for their groceries with food stamps...the simple fact is that judgment is not fot us to make...it does not make humanity better. Let the law deal with the lawbreakers, and let us look passed differences to the humanity within. When we demonize any group - those who worship a different God, those who receive assistance in order to live, those who have different beliefs politically - then we truly demonize ourselves, because that kind of disdain leads to disgust, which leads to animosity, which leads to hatred, which then becomes a reason to try to rid the world of that which we judge to be the core of evil in our world.
So, yes, we are responsible. We are the only ones who can change the world. But, will we?