the world’s a mess

The State of the World

Here is a submission by a childhood friend of mine. I saw this post of his and had to re-print it here:

Sometimes they say “Look at the world today!” and they mean that it’s a mess. Or they say “What’s wrong with people?” and mean that they’re sick; people do sick things, they treat each other like dirt, they steal and rape and kill. They wage war. They consume recklessly and spare little thought for the state of the world, the true state, the damage caused by their actions: the landfills, the mass graves, the extinct species, the genocide.

Sometimes they ask “Why?”

It hit me today that the reason is me. Not all of it, and in fact far from most of it. But I go through my life and in my wake there is negativity and anger and the ripples of those things produce more ripples, and those still more.

I like to think I’m a good person. Most of us do. And in some ways I am. I don’t kill people and I don’t steal. I’m honest. I make sure to recycle and I take public transit. I try to keep in touch with my friends and family, and let them know how much they mean to me. But now I’m thinking that it isn’t enough. I’m thinking of the damage I leave behind me; I went across India and I got into shouting matches with a half dozen people. I told myself it was ok because I was depressed and alone and exhausted, but all I gave those men was the image of an angry foreigner, an angry white person, an angry tourist, and how is that going to carry forward with them? I don’t know why that example came to me instead of a hundred others, instead of something more personal, or darker, but when I look back on that it cuts me. It’s exactly the behaviour I do without thinking that can have the worst consequences, the feelings I’ve hurt without wanting to, the useless products I’ve bought, the packages I’ve thrown away.

I move through the world and because of its nature, the nature of my way of life, the nature of my selfishness and the fact that I am a member of a society dependent on oil and consumption, because of my fucked up psychology, my angst and guilt, my ignorance and stupidity, because of all of these things I leave damage in my wake. Negativity. And it spreads – mine fosters yours. Yours fosters mine. It spreads, ripples on a pond, and the pond is the world and the ripples are history and this has been going on forever.

So fucking of COURSE the world is like this. Of course murder happens. Of course war. They produce themselves. I produce them. You do.

By: Chad Inglis

reprinted by RS