There is something wrong with our world

There is something wrong with our world, something fundamentally and basically wrong. […] The great problem facing modern man is that, that the means by which we live have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live. So we find ourselves caught in a messed-up world. The problem is with man himself and man’s soul. We haven’t learned how to be just and honest and kind and true and loving. And that is the basis of our problem. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

These words are some sixty years old. And they are valid though, and I believe that they have been valid from the moment we created what we call “civilization.”

I believe it’s a general feeling of uneasiness that the world is going to fall apart, that all our children will have left are some ruins.

Civilization is such a fragile thing. Societies are built on ideologies, on the combined effort a millions and millions of people, and they try to imagine into reality a future so great that we can brag about creating Heaven on Earth.

How do we learn to be just and honest and kind and true and loving? Do we have to be that all the time, to all people, under all circumstances?

Aren’t we just an advanced breed of monkeys who are terrified of death and do all that we can so we can forget about our own frailty and irrelevance?

Yet we hope. And we follow great men who want to make the world a better place, who want equality and freedom for us all. That is no vain pursuit.

But the world isn’t broken. There’s nothing wrong, even with the most terrifying aspects of humanity. The kind of darkness that we rarely speak about. It’s part of who we are, and trying to suppress it will do more harm than good.

We are just and honest and kind and true and loving because we can easily be the exact opposite. We can choose to be loving or we can choose to be fueled by hatred.

There’s both light and darkness inside our souls, and it is important to accept this.

This world is broken. It always was. And it will always be so. For man was meant to overcome tremendous obstacles and survive in the most difficult to circumstances. The injustice of the world makes it possible for great visionaries to be born.

Without tragedy, there would be no art.

Without pain and anger and heartbreak, we’d never know the pleasure of listening to the wisdom of great men.

Without oppression, we’d never appreciate freedom, and we’d never fight for the right to be free.

The fight is all there is. In this life, and all previous lives. The fight between the world as it is and the world as it could be.

There’s a bit of magic left in the world. You can see it in the eyes of a person whom the world has tried to break, over and over again, and yet they still speak of love and compassion and forgiveness.

It is probably well to remember that one can only be good when it would be far easier to be evil. When the world angers you, makes you feel your own heart boiling to the point of spilling out of your chest, and you decide to be kind anyway. And smile. And offer the gift of love to those who hardly deserve it.

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9 thoughts on “There is something wrong with our world

  1. Wallace Wattles (circa l904) said, “Nothing is right or wrong, nothing good or bad, everything is as it should be and all is well with the world). Understanding and living by this philosophy makes life more understandable and peaceful.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I couldn’t agree more. We have to believe compassion and kindness is a choice like hatred and violence and choose to be the positive force. I feel like there is a nod to the Potterworld in your piece (maybe not but I see it!) and I am dropping in my bit “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Or…it is universally recognized that something is wrong with the world. All religions, most isms and utopian political movements seek to bring about (or realize) relational unity among human beings, nature, and/or God. We all seem to yearn for this. Yet what we continue to experience is war, division, divorce, disaster, slavery, intolerance, greed, exploitation, addiction, disease, death, and so on.

    Few of us accept this as right and good. But why would we not accept this state of things if we are simply an accidental product of mindless processes, sailing through an impersonal cosmos? If the physical is all there is, why would human beings universally feel compelled to make up a spiritual reality?

    I think MLK was right: “…we find ourselves caught in a messed-up world. The problem is with man himself and man’s soul.” He would’ve said that spiritual rebirth and restoration is possible, but that the answer lies in a power outside of ourselves.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We are tribal by nature and that is how early man lived and survived in a hostile world. Steven Pinker threw a spanner in the works when he published ‘ The Blank Slate’ none of us are born blank slates we carry a large evolutionary baggage. You point to this when you talk about darkness and light in the soul of man and religion is an attempt to overcome this problem. We cannot choose our nature we are born with it but we can overcome to some extent and that is what human culture attempts to do.

    Liked by 1 person

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