Tuesday, September 21, 2010

All that bad?

Heard a born again evangelical minister on the radio the other day.
He was ranting about the horrible state of the world
Poverty, wars, the economic conditions worldwide,.
He went on to lament about gay marriage, nuclear weapons, AIDS. and just about every other problem that plagues modern society today. He painted a pretty bleak picture,

Bullshit!! What glasses is this this guy viewing the world through?

Over the past several years I've managed to see some of the worst that individuals can inflict on their fellow human beings. I've seen the results of a war torn Iraq, the devastation of bombs directed at civilians  in a marketplace and a all girls school,where children were just trying to learn and get ahead in this world. I've seen my buddies killed, civilians murdered, and witnessed some of worst inhumanity on this earth. At the same time I've seen overwhelming humanity from soldiers and ordinary people that care about their fellow man. Sometimes the worst brings the best out.
 If anyone has  reason to be pessimistic about the state of the world, it would be me.

Where I'm going with all this, is that I think we sometimes lose focus and perspective.

Look at the world through my glasses.

Might be a good exercise for that minister to study a little bit of world history.
When you look back at where we have come from,,,humanity has done a pretty good job at civilizing itself.
Think about it.... a few decades ago we dropped nuclear bombs on civilian populations, dictators, (Stalin, Mao, and Hitler) murdered pretty close to a hundred million people. Diseases like small pox, measles, polio and whopping cough, took the lives of millions every year.
As a percentage, fewer people in this world live in poverty than in any time in history.
People live longer, people know more and literacy is greater.
The largest middle class in the world is in India and is close to over 750 million people. That's twice the population of the entire United States.
In just the last 20 years, a diagnosis of cancer has gone from a 70% certainty of death to less than 30% today.
The Internet was allowed peoples in the most remote parts of the world to be informed and is breaking the backs of those that would like to keep their populations ignorant...it's a tide they cannot stop.
Malaria, the deadliest disease on earth, killing over 3 million annually, will more than likely have a vaccine in a few short years.
Gays my not be able to openly be in the U.S. military....yet (so close) , but may get married in a half dozen states, and are welcome in many of the worlds armed forces. And gays are accepted as equals now more than ever. If that minister thinks that bad, look at the state of women and blacks in this country a few decades ago.
We have even come to a place where if Iran managed to get a suitcase nuclear weapon into downtown Manhattan and detonated it...I doubt that the US would respond by vaporizing the innocent civilian population of Tehran.
As a soldier, I have seen our military obsessed with limiting civilian collateral damage to the extreme. If that isn't civilized warfare, I don't know what is.

Is there poverty and hunger in the world?
Are there despots threatening their people and their neighbors populations?
Is there disease and ignorance on this earth?

You bet there is...
We are moving people out of poverty, educating more people, freeing people from corrupt governments, feeding more people, curing more illness than at any time in world history.

Try looking for humanity of your own neighborhood. The doctor that offers his services for free, the dentist that spends 1 month a year in the Dominican Republic, the thousands that went to Louisiana after Katrina to help people rebuild....or the guy across the street that volunteers once a week at the local shelter. Our humanity is all around us. And we, the human race, is and has been getting a little better with every passing minute.

So I'll toast that minister with my half-full glass to his half empty one any day.

Try looking through this ugly world through my glasses and you might see that it's not All that bad.

Doc Spad