Okay, my fellow humans, here’s my take on Paris. Except it’s barely about Paris.
I am deeply afraid for the future of humanity. More specifically, for the future of human civilization. Civilization is what got us this far. It’s the ONLY thing that will get us past where we are now.
The world is in a precarious place. We have damaged our planet’s atmosphere to the point where we can’t STOP it from damaging us back…we can only hope to mitigate and survive until it recovers. We have barbarians at the gates (and all around us), and, for many of them, their explicit purpose is to drag us back DOWN the civilization ladder.
The terrorists who carry out these acts are doing so for many reasons, but we should be able, as a civilization, to agree on one thing: their political tactics are barbaric.
I said it last night on Twitter, and I will say it again: the only way we fix all of this is to insist on being civilized in the face of barbarism. We must be the adults in the room. Being an adult means you don’t GET to do everything you want, nor react the way your lizard brain wants you to. Blowing the shit out of…anyone…is NOT the right solution to this. We’ve been doing it for 14 years now – at least 35 years intermittently – how’s it going?
As civilized people, we get through this crisis by acting like an adult faced by a screaming child. All of us, civilization, standing together in the face of barbarism and refusing to have our own tantrum.
Indulging in war over terrorism means having a tantrum in response to a tantrum. It accomplishes nothing good. It does, however, result in lots of dead toddlers and other innocents, and inspires their loved ones into terrorism. Violence begets violence, revenge begets revenge. You don’t stop it by doing more of it.
I fear our time is short, fellow humans. We have a short time to figure out how to become adults, and face down the barbarians among us. And in that group I include the ones who took to Twitter last night calling for YET ANOTHER war against terrorism, which, again, we have tried. Doesn’t work.
Our time is short. The planet is burning. We need to work together, as a civilization of adults, to realize we can’t always do whatever we want, and to fix it before it really is too late.
A friend on Twitter said this last night: “If your lizard brain is talking, and you’re not in immediate life-threatening danger, the wisest choice is to ignore it.” Another said, “Humans make their worst decisions when they’re scared and angry.”
It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be angry. It’s NOT okay to act on those feelings to hurt others. We know this as individuals, as parents, as friends – we need to start applying these rules as a civilization.
Again, the barbarians aren’t just around us; they’re among us. At least six of them are running for the GOP nomination for president right now. Watch your backs – these are the people who want to turn the clock back, and whether it’s 50 or 500 years, they are NOT friends of civilization.
I am scared. But not really of terrorism. I’m scared that we, as a civilization, won’t get our shit together and act like adults fast enough to save ourselves. We lost/gave up civilization at least once, historically. The Dark Ages don’t appear to have been fun…and they lasted 10 centuries.