Words by Sam Levine
We’re better than hatred and fear and willful ignorance. We’re better than Donald Trump and we’re better than Vladimir Putin. We have this incredibly arrogant view of our era as the most advanced in human history, but by what metric is that assumption quantified?
We have, quite possibly, the most raw knowledge and ability of any group of humans to ever live.
We have done things which not very long ago were limited to the various gods of our world. Using technology which today is fantastically redundant, a man landed on the moon and beheld for the first time something our ancestors could only hope to see in the still light of death: he saw the world, blue and green and white, and all alone in the incomprehensible black vastness of the cosmos.
I think that we are no better than the first man to walk beneath the stars we have since forgotten. It seems to me that it would be better to look up than straight ahead, and yet we are a society of glassy-eyed non-participants. We ignore the world around us in favor of the bubble of mindless humanity we inhabit. Those of us in the small minority of people who live in the so-called first world waste hours and weeks and months and eventually years catatonic, brain-dead in front of screens.
We are not the greatest iteration of human society, because we have reached a point where we unequivocally know better. We can end hunger today. We can end poverty today. And yet we choose not to, because you and I enjoy our cars and concert tickets.
But then come events like these bombings. Hate met with hate, and all the while the individual people are the same beautiful creatures they always have been. Every single problem humanity faces today is caused solely by humanity.
We are our alpha and our omega. There is nothing else. But there is the struggle inside us, the Cain and the Abel. It is natural, and violence and horror are instrumental in beauty.
But we need to do better.
Maybe this time, we can leave alone the rhetoric and the bullshit. Maybe this time we can avoid blaming Muslims for the actions of a few.
I think that conflict is as much a part of all of us as the water we drink. It will never change. But for all the violence, for all the death and decay, there is always a balancing force. Every man who dies is replaced by a newborn child a continent away.
It is up to us, as individuals, to play our roles in life.
I know my role. And my role is not that of the bomber, nor is it that of the pacifist. Mine is the same as yours: to live, and to be a part of this great adventure, spinning through the candlelit void. Who we may become is not set in stone, but who we were in the beginning is eternal.
The human soul is too beautiful to give up to death.