When I was 18 or 19, I had a bad habit of getting drunk, going into college bars, finding the best looking guy in there, walking up to him, and punching him in the face. I was an angry young woman then, but luckily, I grew past that anger and developed into a pretty decent human being. For the most part.
We destroy ourselves.
Recently there was a GINORMOUS fire in the Columbia River Gorge. Actually, I believe it is still going. It was started by a teenager who evidently thought it would be fun to throw a fire cracker into the very dry woods.
We destroy ourselves. This is what we are taught. Yes, I was throwing punches at handsome men, and yes, this boy threw the firecracker into the woods, but while it looks like our destruction is external, it is nothing more or less than what we do to ourselves every day.
Once I realized I was destroying myself, I had to take a lot of time to look at why. I saw the ways I judged, hated, and beat up on myself because I was not trying. Or, I was trying too hard at things I didn't care about. I wasn't listening to my heart. I didn't even respect my heart.
There are a lot of people beating up on this young man, whose brain is still not fully developed. This young man who was raised in a destructive society, who was most likely raised to be tough, maybe ignore his feelings. I don't know. I don't know him. But I do know that when people act like this it is a symptom of a broken society, and instead of punishing the boy, which would do nothing to rehabilitate him, we might focus on fixing the society where this could happen.
I have been traveling all over the US this summer with my social engagement project, A Love Rebellion. I have met and spoken with strangers all over the country, and the overwhelming reaction I get is, "thank you, I needed this."
We all need this. We all need a society built on compassion, grounded in kindness, and based on community. We do not have that now. Our society justifies all endeavors through financial gain. This is clearly putting humans all over the world in a precarious position, and at some point, we are either going to have to completely change the way we treat ourselves and each other, or, we are going to destroy ourselves and this world in our pursuit of more and more.
It is pretty simple. But it is not easy.
But if we don't try, whatever we can do, we will destroy ourselves.