The Holocaust. Slavery. Jim Crow Laws. Poverty. Inequality. Discrimination. Ignorance. Death. Rape. Oppression.
These were the themes and genres that I often found myself reading as a child and still today. It presents me as a morbid reader who seems to enjoy the darkness in life but truly I enjoy books that touch on the darkness because it helps me see the light.
Reading about atrocities and cruelty leads me to wonder, how did human hands cause such pain? How did hands just like mine do so much damage?
I didn’t understand why wickedness had such a firm footing in this world until I realized that its foundation lies in us. That I can’t expect the present and future of humanity to be better than the past because nothing has changed. On the surface, we are faster, cleaner, and intimidating. But in reality we are still the same lost, corrupt, and foolish beings as our ancestors.
We somehow tricked ourselves into believing that the battles fought in the past are now done and over. We know this because the medals hang on the walls of the trophy case. We look around and see what we’ve conquered, built, and achieved. This entire planet is our trophy case and the medals are the visible and also intangible man-made creations.
The visible ones are the sky scrapers, bridges, computer, cars, phones, mansions, and all else which stands tall in the place where nature once stood.
And by intangible man-made creations I am talking about racism, poverty, discrimination, oppression and all that which exists but never truly held. The unseen creations which trigger wars, death, loss of freedom, and other pains. Its mass cannot be weighed, nor its width or surface area. There is no definite structure to it nor can we package it away. No, it exists in such a form that it is everywhere yet nowhere.
But we must not lose hope even though that in itself cannot be held or measured or seen. Hope in something greater is a great risk but I know that it’s worth it in the end because what do we have to lose? We’ve lost ourselves to this world, now we just have to take it back.