Some days I’ve just gotta face the music — I can write about an ideal world, I can imagine what it’d be like if everyone did their part to make it all a better place — but sometimes it’s quite the opposite.
Sometimes the world doesn’t make any sense. People acting irrationally and irresponsibly. Getting in bad situations with bad reasons. Or sometimes, it’s simply senseless acts of violence.
If you haven’t heard from my angry status message this morning, last night when 1 died and 2 were injured at Caribana, one of those two was my cousin.
To give you some context to how crazy and insane Caribana is, it centres around a 1-day parade and numerous parties before and after to celebrate Caribbean heritage and its people. It averages around 1.3-1.5 million people in attendance annually and brings in somewhere in the neighbourhood of $300 million in revenue. Americans come over the border in droves to attend, show off money and cars, and just have a crazy weekend. But it’s also been littered by a history of violence. Especially gun violence. While none were surprised that a shooting occurred this year, yet again, having it happen to someone I know — family — makes for a very different experience.
We don’t care about the issues of the world around us until they hit home — doesn’t matter what it is. We hear of wars on the other side of the world. We know that there are numerous problems in the places we live. Yet, even though headlines worsen and the world gets bleaker all around us, we turn a blind eye and convince ourselves that everything is okay.
But we need to stop lying to ourselves.
Looking around me, I think it’s safe to assume that very few of us are happy. I mean REALLY happy. Genuinely 100% content with the lives we lead and all the elements of them. We ALL have the fleeting moments — finding out that we won something unexpectedly; re-discovering an old song that we love; or reconciling with someone who we thought would hate us forever. But then you get back to real life. The j-o-b; the commutes in start-and-stop traffic, or maybe public transportation that clearly wasn’t meant to carry anything resembling the rush hour crowd. You’re going to have to come down from cloud 9 and deal with real life sometime, and guess what? Life’s a biatch.
But you know what gives us the remotest chance of making it all better? Of making life happier for all of us? Treating each other like human beings. Helping out a fellow person in need. Valuing life for what it’s worth.
Let’s try that sometime. Hell, it just might work.
–Casey E. Palmer