My community is in an uproar, debates about death penalty abound and it seems that since news of Jennifer Daugherty's murder there have been numerous crimes in my hometown...a rapist dressed as a woman, a little boy broke a classmates wrist,we are on the news every night! It would be easy for me to become consumed by the chaos and hate currently swirling around me, but I can't.
I have read posts on news pages touting vengeance and preaching about the decline of society. I have read arguments of people who state that crime rates escalate because society is so "liberal", because parents don't spank, because we give people too many excuses...
Well, I did some reading today. Crime statistics have actually gone down. In fact, in the first quarter of last year violent crimes dropped in spite of a recession, when we would normally see rates increase. the truth is that in the last century we have gotten better at treating our fellow beings with dignity. Race and gender relations have improved and acceptance of the LGBT community has increased, I believe that in the next 10 years or less gay marriage will and should be legal across the States.
We still have a long way to go. People with disabilities are still devalued and experience abuse at staggering rates, the LGBT community is still persecuted and oppression abounds across the globe. The truth is though, that things have gotten better, it's sometimes hard to see, but it has gotten better. Just look at the person next you, go out into your community and observe the unspoken acts of kindness that happen every day.
So, while it's tempting to think that world is going to hell in a hand basket, the truth is that the human experience can be and often is so beautiful! While I and others continue to speak out against injustice, as we should, it is still important to look around with optimism. We have already come so far...we will make it the rest of the way. Maybe I'm too positive, but how would I get through the day if I weren't?