The Dichotomy of Being Human

I was intending to continue yesterday’s blog about the world population reaching seven billion with a general rant about the human race and its inability to look after the very place that sustains its existence. I declined, partly because I lost interest in writing a long entry, and also because I had a slight change of heart. You see, whilst I still hold the opinion that we are responsible for many of the problems we encounter, there is another side to the argument.

Humans, both individually and collectively, are capable of the most incredible things. We work tirelessly towards a better world, for ourselves, others, the environment and other species. There is doubtless much progress being made. The problem is that we do not get to hear about it.

Or rather, we DO get to hear about some of it, but it is overshadowed by the negativity that permeates all form of news reporting.

About four years ago I stopped taking notice of the news. I used to pick up a free newspaper on the way to work, and spent the whole journey on the underground reading about murders and other forms of violence, natural catastrophies, corrupt governments using their power for their own ends, rising unemployment and interest rates, recessions, depressions, invasions…, rarely an article that made me feel good.

Today on BBC news there is an article about what Britons think of their children (not their own: children in general). WIth the eye-catching headline, “Children behaving like animals, Barnado’s survey finds”, it seems that forty nine percent of the 2000+ people asked thought that children were “beginning to behave like animals”, beoming “feral”. In reply, Natasha Cripps, who commissioned the research, said:

So many young people do positive things but they’re not advertised because we live in a society where we do look at the negative side of things in every walk of life.

So it’s very easy to demonise young people and use them as a scapegoat for the social difficulties that we’re having right now.

Exactly, Natasha, exactly.

If I had untold wealth I would love to start up a newspaper that concentrated on the good things that are happening. With so much negativity out there, I think it’s about time that we gave ourselves a “good” kick up the arse. So come on, media people, give us encouragement. We don’t need it – our convictions are enough to fuel us – but it would make the journey to work for milllions of people around the world a more pleasant one.

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