Hell in a Handbasket?


II’m not really into fear-mongering. I’ve lived a life of relative privilege, not having to face violence and destruction on a daily basis. And while I grew up with a fundamentalist idea that the world was going to hell in a handbasket, getting worse and worse toward eventual return of “the lord jesus christ” in a rapture, as an adult I have mostly moved away from that idea. There is violence and fear and war and destruction. And there are good people, amazing new discoveries and projects that have brought people together in amazing and love-filled ways. I don’t know if we’re about even, but I don’t know that we’re any worse off than 50 years ago.

What I do know, though, is that there is more media and technology and cameras in people’s bedrooms to get a really good look at the violence outside and inside of our hearts. I wish there was an equal amount of media around the good and loving pieces, but just like ‘sex sells,’ violence also sells. It keeps us interested.

So today I was surprised at myself thinking, “what kind of world will Potamus grow up in?” It’s sparked by this rash of gun violence here in little ol’ Seattle. I could joke about our passive aggressiveness and smiling into our lattes in drizzly overcast weather has finally gotten to us, and we’ve snapped, but it feels too fresh. Today I worked from home and learned that my office was even on lockdown, there was some threat, which puts even me on edge. As a crisis counselor I work daily with kids and teens and families on the edge, using coping skills that could hurt others more than it could help them. Even hours post 9/11 I didn’t worry so much for MY safety, just sadness for the people involved.

But it’s hit closer to home, now. Innocent bystanders have been killed. Is our city, our world, going to hell in a handbasket? And if it is…what can I do about it, as I look at my sleeping cherub and want a better world for him than what we’re experiencing today.

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