We live in crazy times. Bad things happening everywhere. People running around blowing each other up or planning to kill people over Danish cartoons. Heck, a story broke out of Columbia about an entire soccer team that was kidnapped and murdered. All of this horrible stuff has many thinking it's near the end of times.
Could this really be the end of days, when whoever your respective God is comes back to Earth and sorts the souls into the good and bad piles? Is this the worst the world has ever been?
A Wilco song called "You Never Know" has an insightful lyric that says:
"Every generation thinks it's the worst. Thinks it's the end of the world."
A good point indeed. I'm sure over the centuries of mankind, many generations have thought that the world was indeed placed into a handbasket enroute to Pitchfork-n-Fire Town. But as centuries have passed, not only did the world NOT end, but we even managed to develop awesome inventions like electricity, instant pudding and TIVO.
So which is it? Is this world on a highway to hell? Or are we all just being a little melodramatic? Let's look back at history and compare it with the present to see if we can find some answers.
PRESENT: The Swine Flu is running rampant, killing thousands of people. Millions scramble to get vaccinations...half of whom were filmed as b-roll for news media reports.
PAST: Between 1918 - 1920, Typhus killed 3 million people. Millions would have scrambled for vaccinations, but were too busy dying.
PRESENT: The economy suffers through a recession as millions lose their homes and jobs. Even fat cat executives are forced to fly...gasp....coach!
PAST: In Italy during the Roman empire, 40 percent of the population were slaves. These slaves never owned property, and I hear their wages were shit!
PRESENT: Wars threaten the world as terrorism destabilizes many regions. Hundreds of thousands of honorable soldiers and civilians (whom deserve all of our respect and prayers) are lost. Tensions grow faster than a political segment on The View.
PAST: During the Ming Dynasty Conquest at the turn of the 18th Century, 25 million people are killed. Sounds like that Ming was a real jerk!
So although there are some very bad things happening in the world today that do command our attention and concern, history does show there has always been bad things happening. The best we can all do is be the good ones that shine some light on the dark days. Perhaps start by sharing a serving of pudding.