I couldn’t agree more with the character Naomi Nagata of the sci-fi show The Expanse.
It starts with small acts or semi-benign sayings. If nobody says or does anything, things escalate. And the next thing becomes easier.
As a society, we are on the path of accelerating the speed at each we spew vitriol, while constantly increasing its level of toxicity.
In the show, the character she says that to redeems himself and reverts back to the nice, considerate man he once was. In real life, that doesn’t happen – or, at least, not as often as we would want to. Most people just get comfortable with the fact it becomes easier and keep amplifying it. They become numb to what’s right.
First, they intellectualize the issue. Then, they find smaller excuses. Then, they don’t care anymore. They brush off the issue and make it an non-issue. And it’s not only “them”. It’s all of us. We have become so accustomed to extreme negative behavior, we normalize it.
Take terror attacks. They are becoming trivial part of our daily lives. At first, we go into shock. We check with friends and family to see if they are OK. We follow the news for a bit. Then, we go on with our lives. “It was a small attack”, we tell ourselves. “Only 15 people killed”. Then, we completely forget. Until, the next one.
We are doing the same with school shootings. As of May 25, one child was shot and killed in school every single day in 2018. And we are just half way through the year. We send thoughts and prayers for about 5 seconds and move on.
The reaction of those involved on the wrong side of the Russian collusion investigation have push the envelope beyond decency and civility. It went from denial, to accepting the very fact that was denied, to declaring absolute powersthat would allow for false testimony, to simply saying that they should not testify because the “recollection of the facts keeps changing“, to shooting the FBI director in the Oval Office and not get indicted for it. Wonder what’s next?
“Every shitty thing we do makes the next one easier”. That’s what’s next. No redemption. No reverting back to “normal”.
Unless, we decide to say enough is enough. Unless, we decide to change – ourselves, others, and the world. Unless, we decide to bring back civility, decency, and the law. Unless, we remember what it means to be human. Unless, we decide to follow the example of our young like the 8-year old boy who jumped out of the car to help an elder woman or the school children who marched for their lives.
Our young are our hope. We should learn from them.