Cecil, the African lion gets lured out of his protective reserve and is killed by a Minnesota dentist; outrage fills the airwaves. Tom Brady of the New England Patriots is suspended for four games for his involvement in the deflating of footballs and fans go ballistic. But the deaths of innocents around the world from hunger, gun violence, disease, war or disasters are reported as matter of fact or not reported at all. These are the times we live in; it seems we have become hardened by the real sadness around us and instead shift our attention to events and personalities that are either minor in scope or of no real consequence.
Certainly animals have value and the best player in professional football may be the target of injustice, but when will society value human life and the pursuit of truth as much as a lion or an athlete? It is understandable, I guess, that people just don’t want to have the evil in the world shoved in their faces and instead want to concentrate on the mundane or the exciting. But we seem to have reached a stage in our American society where people choose to be ignorant of evil and live their lives in a carefree bubble, only to break out of that bubble to show outrage over the death of a lion or the troubles of a football legend.
We saw a glimpse of popular outrage over issues that are vital to our country when African-Americans boiled over with anger and took to the streets to proclaim that Black Lives Matter. Even here the anger was short-lived and misdirected to their neighbors’ property. As a member of the Vietnam War/Civil Rights generation where protest over important matters that struck at the heart of our nation were commonplace, it is sad to see our culture degenerate into concerns over minutiae. Where are the movements for change in our time? When will people get off the couch and get involved?
Perhaps we have become Rome where in its declining years the populace rejoiced in the circus and placed high value on matters of little importance. Thankfully there are those around us who do care and do take action and do try to make life better for those facing danger and injustice. Unfortunately, their numbers are few and their actions often uncoordinated. It would be nice to see a return to the days when people paid attention to what mattered and joined movements to bring about change. I wish Cecil had lived and I remain a fan of Tom Brady, but let’s put the world and our society in perspective and place value on the real issues of the day.