Every time you are shocked or dismayed by something you see people undertake to do to other people, remember that not long ago, you just wouldn’t have heard, seen or read about it. The fact that so many think the world is getting worse is a sign that it’s getting better; we’re trying harder, pulling away from the old norms, including more people in the fabric of society.
For the first time in human history, the concept of inalienable rights actually is somewhat broadly considered to apply to all categories of human being. Its application still lags well behind its ideation, but at least all draft-eligible Americans can vote now–it cannot be forgotten that that has not yet even been true for fifty years!!! We are shocked and dismayed, as more of our old assumptions are brought to the ground; this dismay represents progress, as more people are brought into the fold of basic human opportunity. The best we can do, any of us older than preschool age, is thank ourselves for every way in which we’re free from the poisonous crap that’s been drummed into us from birth. We are products of a poisoned world, a world where people are defined by ridiculous parameters and not taught to see each other as individuals; where violence as instruction is taken for granted, and wars last for astounding lengths of time: where people collude to exclude others from citizenship for reasons as preposterous as skin color, genitalia or inherited religion. Where bullying, humiliation and authoritarian punishment are rites of passage.
Fortunately, the grand scale of human-on-human atrocity is actually getting smaller, as the world shrinks and we increasingly realize that, as it was once said, ‘an explorer from another galaxy would find us all very much alike’. We have to remember that, and remember that the only hope for our wretched but brilliant species lies in its future.