i shall not fear?

why is this world resound with so much bitterness? do we as americans really have it that bad? why do people emphasize the negative or pessimistic outlook of this one chance life rather than the good. maybe im naive, maybe this world is truly out to get me and everyone is born a criminal. dark alley's look to me as great opportunities for a black and white photo, not a noun i must avoid in fear.
i am reminded of a song that would not make it on the radio in our current state of unrest. it was by a man named louis armstrong, who did not know the same respect and freedoms as his musical counterparts today. instead of writing about oppression or racism he sang a song called "(what)a wonderful world". listening to the radio you would think hate and violence governs entire genres (see nu-metal and rap).
i choose to believe the best in people.

my mother once told me a story of two young boys which set me on my path for optimism. the boys were between the ages of 10 and 12. the parents of these two boys set out to give each boy a Christmas contrary to their personalities and see how they would respond. on christmas morning they woke the children up from the living room floor and told the boys to go to their rooms where their presents awaited them. the first boy was given every new toy imaginable. stacks and stacks of brand new games and packages were all his. as the parents walked in the room they saw the boy with toys lying on the floor crying. "whats wrong son?" asked the parents.
"all these toys will one day break and will be thrown away," the boy said.
the parents went into their other sons room where instead of presents there was huge mounds of manure. the entire room had a stench that crept now throughout the house. the boy, whose room was filled with manure, was not crying or upset but instead was frantically digging with a shovel.
"what are you doing son?" the dad asked.
"well dad, if there's this much manure there has to be a horse somewhere!"
sure the story is a bit juvenile but that's what i was when they told me the story. the point is that life is all in your outlook and attitude.

what of racism? what did an ENTIRE race of people ever do to you. just because your father hates this or that culture does NOT give you the right to. if a person of another race hurts or harms you than do not PRE JUDGE the entire race for the offence. on one side of my family we come from Germany but i am NOT responsible for any atrocity that occurred in world war II and wish the holocaust never happened. because of my heritage does this give the right for a jew to hate me? Absolutely not. i had no say in the actions of those who proceeded before me. why do you, having full knowledge of the truth, insist on hating those you have never met or ever will meet? People of different backgrouds/religions or cultures are simply that different. but instead of treading in fear under the guise of racism why cant you open your mind and learn. you simply fear what you do not know. this world is beautiful, and the people in it make it that much more beautiful.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
-St. Paul


jessi said…
what you said here put me in mind of this quote.

"Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting, and doing things historians usually record--while, on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry, whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happens on the banks." - Will Durant (The Story of Civilization)
MH said…
I don't have a neat quote this time, or anything else like that, but a simple addition to what you said after I finish this part:

I enjoy the blunt honesty. We as Americans are always forgetting we don't really have it so bad (or at least most of us, including myself). However, the prescence of degredation is still there, in more subtle ways. I forgot who said it and how and where, but it was something like: "Our ways of killing are more sophisticated now. Slipping poison in a cup and making it like an accident instead of just stabbing them."

Back to the point. Optimism and pessimism? I prefer objective. If something is bad, I say so. If it's good, I say so. Usually. Everyone has their own penchant. Personally I applaud your ability to try and be an optimist, something I struggle with daily is remembering that there is good.

Finally, I would like to add onto your racism comment...should we as Christians really even hate people at all? Forget targeting a race, but rather individual people? 'Hate the sin, love the sinner' is a lot harder than it sounds, isn't it?

Anonymous said…
I think it's pretty obvious that I agree with you. You asked, "Do we as Americans really have it that bad?" when in all reality I don't think 90% of the people even know what bad is, or rather how bad it can actually get. It's not you who is naive my dear, it's the rest of the world. I'm guessing it is human nature to bring out the negative in a situation, so long as it doesn't go their way. People are obsessed with fulfillment in their actions and the verdict to place blame upon anyone who stands in their way, which is where racism and prejudice take their stance. It's funny that you think all the world is out to get you, because I often had the same notion, and thought I was going crazy. However, you have to admit that it is a comforting thought to know that there are still people who see the world as a wonderful, beautiful place, just like Louis Armstrong and yourself. Though we're probably outnumbered, know that not everyone is completely out of touch with this side of their minds. All I have left to say is, I beg of you, please keep your positive outlook on life, for that in itself is a beautiful thing. Get discouraged occasionally, that's fine, but jump back to your feet. Hold this world up as if you were alone, and one day I think we'll both get to see what we're asking for.
kt said…
what a great post, thank you
laurafee said…
wow... that was bold, and i agree with every word. thank you for being forward and honest. that is very valuable to me.
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
I completely agree with everything you said here.

Especially the racism part. I'm also part(nearly half, in fact) German and in elementary school some of the other students would make fun of me for it, calling me "the Nazi girl", among other things. It hurt me so much. But I'm not at all bitter about it. It taught me a lot. Because those kids picked on me because of my nationality, I don't judge others like they did to me. It helped make me the person I am today. I think someday I will thank each and every one of those people.
Story of a Girl said…
I truly wish I had the ability to see things like the second child opening his gift did. I know I should and this is definately a goal for me. great :)

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