I don’t know when I last felt so utterly hopeless. Tonight, I feel like I can do nothing to salvage the world. I can do nothing to prevent humanity’s slide into chaotic oblivion, punctuated by race wars and class wars and economic combat. We live in what would be described in history books, if they could be written, as the end times of decency. The only hope I can hold in my heart is an experience absolutely anathema to my beliefs: that is that every member of the Republican Party and all its adherents will be doused in gasoline and set afire. That would give me hope. But it would leave me with an enormous number of people who should have perished in the blaze. I would be left with artificially compassionate people who, the deeper I might dig, would be revealed as bereft of decency as the ones we’ve just incinerated. Eventually, if the cleansing continued, no one would be left. Not even me. We’re all just as guilty as the next one. Our guilt is, quite simply, clothed in different garments. We are bad to the core. We deserve to be eradicated like stinging insects. All of us. Every one of us. Even the good ones. The “good ones” have their faults, too. I’m a cynic. I’m not one to forgive, not tonight. I don’t know how to define sin, but I think we’re all guilty of it; the worst kind, the kind of sin that makes it impossible to achieve even a shred of forgiveness.

If I could vaporize the world in which we live, I would do it tonight. I would eliminate the ugliness that grows like mold on the edges of the human soul. I would torch the misery we inflict on people who don’t deserve it. I would inflict ruin upon this ugly blemish we have visited upon the planet.

I’m not explaining my mood. And I shall not explain it. It need no explanation other than this: I belong to the human race and for that I am eternally sorry and ashamed.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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3 Responses to Shame

  1. Yes, Robin. Just “poof,” and the world would be a more tranquil place.

  2. robin andrea says:

    I have often wished that humans would simply, painlessly disappear from earth. We have over-run our beautiful planet and have inflicted harm in every way. Human suffer, the animals suffer, all living things on our planet suffer because of us. Enough. In the blink of an eye be gone, humans, be gone.

  3. Warren A Searls says:

    John, what I am ashamed of is our general reluctance to speak up in fear that someone may be offended by the truth. What is that we stand for if we are afraid to say it out loud, to shout it in the public forum. There is only one person in this country who can sign an Executive Order. There is only one President of the United States who sends vile tweets. Yet we cannot mention his name at UUVC in relation to what he does and says. So what do we say to those that are hurt by what he says and does. I don’t know what is in his “heart”, but I know what comes out of his mouth and at the end of his pen. His “heart” is entitled to dignity and worth, but his mouth and pen have yet to earn my respect. In my lexicon dignity and respect are not synonymous! Sleep well my friend. Warren

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