The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money.

~ Author Unknown ~

Humans Behaving Badly

August 9th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 20 secs

Are people really all that bad?

Are people really all that bad?

You don’t want to know the terrible things that humans do. Only… you can’t help wondering. So you switch on the news.

Sure enough, there’s more gore, and ghastly mayhem than you can poke a stick at. All for us to shake our head over and tut, tut about. Such is the formula used for the news.

Part of me feels that I ought not to watch it. What possible benefit can you get from watching people do such awful things? So I turn it off for a while and then, I get curious. Deep within us, there is that desire to want to know what’s going on. And if it’s bad we want to know how bad.

It’s like when someone offers to tell you the good news and the bad news. Which do you pick first? Of course: the bad news! We human beings have a need to define our environment by identifying where all the dangers lie. Once we have a bead on how terrible things can be, we at least have the comfort of knowing.

But of course, that’s a contradiction because who needs tragedy? This conflict means we tend to give way too much headspace to the horrors that perpetrators inflict rather than to recognising people’s achievements. So while we miss great breakthroughs close to home, we school up on how nasty somebody was two years ago in some far flung country a nation we’ve never even heard of much less been to. Go figure.

Thanks to the power of media, our territory has changed and become ill defined. What would once have been bounded by the limits of our village or valley now encompasses the entire globe. So it’s no wonder we feel overwhelmed.

You cannot know or handle all the burdens of this world and nor do you need to. Besides which, wondering what happened today via the Nasty Network News Service only gives us a distorted view of what humanity has been getting up to.

Stripped of all normalcies and purged of happiness (apart perhaps from the odd good news story about the quirky or cute), the news gets condensed to callousness and conflict. This is not reality but a bleak one-sided gloom fest.

Thankfully, you and I don’t need to handle the whole world’s affairs on a day-to-day basis. (It’s beyond what anyone can do). Instead, we need to tackle what we can, while big issues need full-size action via organisations capable of scaling up to these problems.

Rather than copping out, we need to accept that we have to work together to sort out large-scale difficulties. Otherwise, tackling world hunger by yourself might prove to be a little out of your league.

When humans behave badly and you see it on the news, remember 2 things:

  1. If you’re feeling compelled to act, your ability best rests with group action.
  2. What you are witnessing isn’t all there is. Good news and outstanding effort often get missed.

So keep a curious eye open for all the brilliant achievements that the news refuses. It’s time to widen our diet and find a broader selection of what’s going on. Then at least we can receive a more balanced idea of what humanity is doing.

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