I See No Hope

Some days writing comes easy because of the things I see in the news. Events inspire me to get angry and puree my ability to hold back my opinion.

This is not one of those days

Israeli people are in the streets celebrating another volley of missiles landing in the Gaza Strip, as if more killing will somehow make the terror Israelis experience and death they witness on a daily basis more bearable. They don’t see the wailing of a mother whose child has been killed for the mortal sin of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, playing football with his friends on the beach. The friends are dead, too.

The Israeli people tell themselves that those children will be given a place in heaven if they were not terrorists, and the members of Hamas agree with them, but it makes the Palestinian people dig their feet just a little deeper into the soil. Both sides sitting on opposite sides of a battle line where righteousness is being claimed and yet none can be seen.

From the outside perspective it is simple to see what is really going on. There are two children sitting in a sandbox. One is bigger and stronger. The other is smaller and has been forced into the tiny corner. They have no where else to go but the older child is throwing sand in their face, wondering why the younger one doesn’t just give up but the younger one is only doing what he has been told to do by his father, fight against the bully and no matter how hurt he gets in the process his father will give him all the ice cream he can eat once the day is done.

I see no hope in this

I see death and destruction between two peoples that could change the world if they would take the time to listen and care about the other. They could be an example of how two groups can get along and exist despite all of their differences. But they don’t and they won’t because they are both sure they are right and that means the other must be wrong, deserving of a penalty for being so.

I see no hope in this

295 people fell from the sky today. If they were lucky they never got the chance to put on their oxygen masks. If they were unlucky, the safety measures worked, the mothers got the masks on their children as they fell thousands of meters to the ground to their deaths. Meanwhile, a man with an empty tube on his shoulder is smiling after hitting his target and removing a piece of the world that, to him, just didn’t seem to fit.

He is a surgeon, cutting of bits of fetid tissue that seem to be infecting the patient, causing a disease that only a few like him can see. And he has decided that he is the one that must be responsible for saving his patient. He is righteous, sure that what he is doing is proper and called for, never questioning whether the plane he was destroying was a target or not. He is right, and no one can question that.

On the plane a child has buried his face into the breast of his mother, screaming like never before and while too young to understand what is about to happen he knows that he is afraid beyond anything that his young imagination has created while lying in bed at night. The monsters in the closet and the scary clowns under the bed are not comparable and he knows it because his mother, the person that is never afraid  and is always the rock that defends him is screaming as well. She is holding him so tight that his screaming has become difficult. He can no longer even catch his breath. His hands grip her blouse in a rock hard tension...and then grip no more.

I see no hope in this

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In the jungles of Africa, a killer is stalking it’s prey. It is small and thin with a little loop at one end. It doesn’t know why it kills, it doesn’t even know that it kills, but these things do not matter, for it relies on the thoughts and behaviours of it’s prey to carry out its task. The tiny little shepherd’s crooks of the ebola virus cannot be seen by their ultimate targets and they rely on this ignorance to survive and their arrogance to spread. The human’s righteousness controls its behaviour and its sure position at the top of the food chain is not nearly as assured as it would like. This human exists only within a tiny niche that was created no more than 250,000 years ago while ebola and other filoviruses have existed for upwards of 12 million years and it could be many millions more.

We are not in charge. They are

The humans go about their lives, exhibiting the unconsciously welcoming ebola to enter the body. It touches it’s eyes, nose and mouth. It uses the back of it’s hand to feel the forehead of it’s child, assessing the fever that they’re experiencing. The fever that ebola induces is also the thing that helps create a way for it to move from host to host. The same can be said for the bloody mucus that comes from the patient’s mouth or from the violent diarrhea that comes from the victim sloughing off the lining of it’s intestinal and esophageal linings. After the patient has succumbed, their body is washed and touched and prayed over, contaminating all that touch the body with the virus that will soon cause them to crash and bleed out as well.

But the people that will see all of this have been told not to do these things. They have been told to avoid touching the sick and the importance of face masks and sterilization, but these things go against what they have been taught their religion requires of them. They dismiss the lies of the outsiders and blame the illnesses on spirits or judgements from God. They are so sure they are right that they unknowingly choose to die.

I see no hope in this

I see no hope in certainty. I see no hope in our lust for violence in that we are convinced that we are right and they are wrong. I see no hope in a battle over a piece of land that is only important because an old book says it is. I see no hope in rejecting others’ opinions and ideas because they make you uncomfortable. I see no hope in raising ourselves above the rest of the world like we are deserving of so much more than the rest of the life forms that share our planet.

Our planet.

Not our species, not our race, not our religion, not our country, not our church.

I see no hope in certainty.

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