The World Is Going To Hell, Right?

Yesterday there were two separate explosions that occurred at the finish line of the most revered marathon in America. People died, dozens are gravely injured, and at the time of this post, we don’t know who did this or why. All I know is people are not optimistic in regards to the direction of our planet because of it.

First it was 9/11, then it was the movie theater shootings in Colorado, then it was the shootings in Newtown, CT, and now it’s the Boston Marathon and countless other incidents in between. I mean, now there are people attacking defenseless athletes during a peaceful foot race? Who does that??

April 15, 2013 will be a day Bostonians and Americans will not soon forget.

The world is going to hell!

The world is EVIL!

There is NO goodness left in the world!

Everyone believes this, right??

Not me.

Unfortunately, many people operate using the “Poop in the Ice Cream” philosophy. It goes something like this:

“If you have a gallon of poop and you place a spoonful of ice cream in it, there’s no way you’re going to eat it, right? That’s a no-brainer. But let’s say you have a gallon of delicious ice cream and someone placed the smallest spoonful of poop in it. You’re not going to scoop out the poop and eat the rest of the ice cream. Chances are you’re going to dump out the whole container because the poop ‘infected’ all of it. The moral of the story is that the biggest poop or the smallest poop can ruin the good in anything.”

I call bullshit (pun intended) on that. You’re a good person. I’m a good person. Our friends and family are good people. Since the beginning of time and until the end of time, the good guys will always outnumber the bad guys. Yes, through the law of averages we will come across some evil in our daily lives, but the good people will always swallow them up. Hell, do you think that the earth would exist if everyone in it was a coldhearted, evil jackass? Not a chance. Terrorists are basically microscopic poops in the vast sea of yummy ice cream.

Contrary to the world going to hell, I noticed something beautiful. Everyone I saw on TV or spoke to in Boston asked the same simple question:

“How can I help?”

Civilians, police, and other first responders heroically rushed to the bomb site to offer assistance to the wounded.

Hospitals were overrun with people willing to donate blood to the victims.

Strangers hugged strangers, people across the world didn’t hesitate to donate their hard-earned money to help, others literally gave the shirts off of their backs to those who needed them, and Bostonians in my beloved home state of Massachusetts showed a resolve that was remarkable and inspirational to witness.

It’s acts like this that demonstrate why I’m more optimistic than ever about our future. Additionally, I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I refuse to live in fear.

I’m not afraid to go to the movies because of what happened during the Colorado movie theater shootings in 2012.

I’m not afraid to send my daughters to Elementary school because of what happened in Newtown, CT.

I’m not going to be afraid to attend sporting events with my daughters because of what happened at the Boston Marathon yesterday.

Why? Because for every psychopath/terrorist/asshole, there are at least 100,000 people doing good on this earth, and I focus on those people. Darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. It’s scientifically impossible. To live in fear is no different than being led around on a short leash while blindfolded, and that’s no way to live as far as I’m concerned (unless that’s how you like to get down behind closed doors. In that case, go for it).

Don’t get me wrong here, there’s a big difference between being cautious and living in fear. One is a good thing and the other is crippling, and it’s important to understand the difference. I have thousands of parents from all over the world who read and subscribe this blog. Some are conservative, some are liberal, some are deeply religious, some are not, etc. The one thing that all of us have in common is that we want to keep our children safe at all costs. We have different parenting styles and I will never tell any of you how to do your job, but I sincerely hope we can all agree that if we and our children follow these ten rules, we will continue to overwhelmingly outnumber evil:

1) Don’t be a bully.

2) Call out intolerance/bullying when it happens, even if it makes you a “snitch.”

3) Love everyone, no matter what their race, gender, weight, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, etc. is.

4) Use our minds to solve problems; not fists, guns, knives, etc.

5) Don’t judge people.

6) Shrug it off when others judge you. Nobody is as cool, original, special, or beautiful as you. In other words, Own Your Bombness.

7) Be kind, nice, and humble even when you don’t want to be (it’s a more pleasant way of saying “Don’t be an asshole”).

8) Don’t be a punk. Stop whining and hoping that people will feel sorry for whatever ails you – because they won’t. Once you give power to things outside of yourself is when you’ve lost. Go hard or go home.

9) Help others who are less fortunate than you.

10) And (most importantly) be the change you want to see in the world.

I do my best to live by these ten rules, because that’s what my parents instilled in me. And as a daddy, I hope I can return the favor to my two young daughters. Even if all of us agree to follow a fraction of these rules, the world will continue to be a much happier and safer place for us and our children.

In the meantime, it’s during events like this that we cannot afford to be punks and lament about the alleged sorry state of the planet. Our children need to know that there is evil out there, but there are way more people who add value than those who take it away. Knuckleheads like the person(s) who committed these acts are terrorists, and terrorists thrive on creating…well, terror. If they’re successful in their goal, they win. In the history of the universe, light is undefeated against darkness, and there is no amount of darkness that can defeat even the smallest amount of light.

Please remember this when you hug and kiss your kids tonight. Hell, let them sleep with a flashlight they need to, but we cannot ever let darkness and fear win. Let’s come together, love each other, and pray for the affected parties, but never let a cowardly act take away the ability to live our lives to the fullest and realize how wonderful the vast majority of our brothers and sisters are.

Now go enjoy some ice cream.

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  1. Kristin Kat says

    Well said DDW.

    At times like these, I like to reflect on the loving wisdom that has helped me before:

    “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

    – Fred Rogers

  2. says

    Thank you to Kristin for the Mr. Rogers quote, which is such a necessary thought in these situations. I do my best to remember that all together, our world is a safer place now than its ever been. Its just so scary that the nature of the danger that we face is one that leaves us all helpless to it. It is a comfort that when we see the very worst in some people, that the next thing we see is the very best in almost everyone else.
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  3. Sherrie says

    I couldn’t have said it better myself! Thank you for saying what many are thinking and most need to hear.

  4. Steph Halczenko says

    you did a great job with this post. i’m always amazed when people have the ability to realize things I’m just now figuring out… or phrase things in a way I wasn’t able to clearly state I was blessed with remarkably strong role models – the adults I was able to place in my life were great role models and taught me great values in responsibility to children, family and life in general since I was a kid. My grandmothers were exceptional heroes and I likely would have never survived what they endured. After a lot of healing and support, I’ve slowly started to be able to share about loss of my family.. I haven’t done so because I want sympathy, but more because caring people have asked, and I’ve found people who have also suffered on a similar level who can connect, and we are both made stronger by this connection, not weaker by it. I’m hoping my loss, which seemed so very tragically pointless at the time, can serve to teach myself and others a lesson.. I refuse to, like DDW said, let darkness and tragedy rule my life, and I enjoy every minute of every day that I spend with my loved ones and probably because of the perspective the fire gave me, for the first time in my life since I had to lose almost everything, i really truly appreciate every last second of every minute that i used to even think remotely frustrated me – i now realize how much I loved every breath of it and would do almost anything to have any of those moments back. I am grateful I told them I loved them regular but always wish for that one more time. I am blessed and honored and humbled by those I have met who have shown me true selflessness in moments of need, or true compassion in moments of grief. I’ve also met ppl who have lost even more than I have, some in even more violent ways, and those people are absolutely inspirational in how strong and amazing they are as a testament to what true humanity is. I have some of the BEST, most AMAZING friends IN THE WORLD. And DDW is right, this world truly does have a tremendous amount of good in it, though we have been conditioned to focus on the entertainment of the bad, the conspiracy, the immoral, etc. The biggest heroes or teh people I want to meet the most are honestly the ppl i find who really know what the true blessings in life are, especially those who figure it out at a young age, and can be an inspiration to the remaining children in my family. I’m determined that my family’s & extended family’s children will not grow up afraid of the illness that I have, or view me as anything but handicapable despite what’s going on, and I’m proud to say my sister has done an amazing job raising her children as exceptional human beings. I am truly blessed beyond belief to be a part of her three children’s lives. She is the best SMDW I know and I am so so proud of her and amazed by how good of a mom she naturally is – she’s far better at it than I have ever been :) <3 (she'd likely never believe I said that either lol) She may undestand one day :) Anyone who thinks the world is going to hell.. keep DDW's insight in mind.. I've seen the true kindness in strangers in the deepest of personal tragedies.. you'd be amazed how much kindness there is from people you wouldn't have expected to be there for you 24/7/365. People can be remarkable, and you may never really realize how truly blessed you are.

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