Anniversaries

This morning I was watching the news and discovered it is the anniversary of the liberation of Belsen. I watched with interest as a lady told her story of being taken to the camp, sharing a room with Anne Frank, seeing all that death and awfulness, then marrying one of the soldiers who liberated the camp. By the end of the news item I was crying quite hard.

I know that nowadays it doesn’t take too much for me to start crying, but this feeling has stayed with me all day. I can’t shake off the dreadful images of those poor people who were subjected to such indescribable conditions during World War 2. I wonder at the human race who can seemingly treat their fellow humans in such a way and happily live with themselves afterwards. It’s not just Belsen either. Those things still happen. There is genocide in countries today, people who don’t flinch at exterminating entire cultures for simply being what they are (or are not in most cases).

This is one of the reasons I don’t like the human race much. We (and I have to include myself because I am also a human being) are prone to such cruelty and hate. I can’t comprehend how cruel and awful some people can be and it stops me sleeping some nights just thinking about the terribleness of it all.

I know there are good people in the world, but I worry that they are becoming fewer and that cruelty is escalating. It breaks my own heart if I harm so much as a spider, let alone more advanced forms of life. I have been known to cry at the sight of a dead animal at the side of the road and weep profoundly when the TV puts on images of starving children in Africa. If only I could do more to help, I always think. OK, I can give a few quid each time, but is that enough? Here I am in a job earning a reasonable salary, but doing something unimportant and meaningless. Why aren’t I out there helping people, stopping genocide, feeding hungry infants?

Even if you take ordinary people – not mad despots, but just citizens in the street, there is so much anger and cruelty and greed around. Road rage, muggings,people beating dogs, badger baiting, why do people need to perpetuate violence against others?

I don’t want to belong in a world where these things happen. Let me go and live in a hut in the middle of nowhere – no people, no cars, no rage.


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