It seems impossible to deny the darkness of the world we live in. You cannot watch the news or surf the Internet without seeing another horrific event happening somewhere in the world. As college students we are afforded the comfort of mostly being able to ignore these events, as they are not a part of our immediate reality. Eventually, as we leave the relative security of the UWG campus, we will have to confront the uncertainty of the times we live in. There is no doubt that there is true evil in our world, but we also cannot forget the good.
In today’s world, we are constantly reminded that nothing is safe anymore. We have become far too accustomed to seeing lives cut short. Many have tried to pinpoint the cause of this trend, but none have yet to succeed. The state of our world has little to nothing to do with the typical scapegoats of sex, drugs, guns, or religion (or lack thereof).
We live in a world of ever increasing connectivity in which we can get the latest breaking news in the palm of our hands. We have turned into crack-headed-busy-bodies. The media has fed this addiction by creating the 24-hour news cycle. While the media fuels the fire, the government exacerbates the situation by preying on our fears for social and political control. All of this, as well as such tragedies as Columbine and 9/11, have lead us to think that we live in the darkest of times.
A perpetual state of fear has become so deeply ingrained in our society because of the media and government, as well as the average ignorance of the American people. We often tend to look at the past as our golden years, as we are terrified of the present. However, the reality in which we live is no darker than that of our ancestors. They faced much greater challenges and terror, such as the Great Depression and Hitler. Life always appears bleak if viewed through a gray scale filter.
It is impossible for us to appreciate the good in the world—and I assure you that there is—for always focusing on the bad. There can be no positive without a negative. The characteristics of good and bad are intrinsically linked to one another. However, if your attention is always on one, you may forget that the other exists.
My daddy once told me, “Don’t sweat the small stuff—its all small stuff.” I never fully appreciated this saying until now. You cannot allow yourself to get bogged down in the terrifyingly mundane aspects of life and forget about the greatness that is all around you. In the end, it is not the bad that makes life remarkable, but instead it is the amazing beauty of existence.