Will we ever be ready? Will the day ever come?

Mass burial for the victims of the Houla Massacre, Syria - May 29, 2012
Mass burial for the victims of the Houla Massacre, Syria – May 29, 2012

When will we ever be ready to act right, not just speak it, and make that the norm?

All political considerations aside, I simply cannot believe that ten thousand years after the emergence of the first city states, five thousand years after the invention of the first alphabet and the introduction of the first legal code, more than sixty years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and close to 10 years since the formulation of the Responsibility to Protect, world leaders still lack the political will to stand up to mass murder, to say “no,” to prevent it from happening when the signs are there, and to quickly stop it when it occurs and bring the culprits to justice.

For progress is not measured by our ability to produce iPhones and iPads, but by our ability to stop behaving and treating each other like animals. We might lead healthier lifestyles today, and have longer lifespans, but we still oppress and kill each other on a mass scale and in a methodical manner as many of us watch with indifference, and might even proffer excuses and justifications. Meanwhile there are those who benefit from this.

To me, something deep inside militates against considering this as normal, or as a natural reflection of our very humanity. What’s the point of surviving for so long, and learning so much, if we still cannot make that singular break with our animal self, and reject mass murder as being a normal reflection of who we are? What is the point of knowledge if it continues to fail in producing a qualitative leap in our awareness of things, and an improvement on our basic nature? When will we ever reach the tipping point in this regard? Isn’t it about time we began asking ourselves these questions? Isn’t it about time we began looking for answers, diligently and methodically?

When we are willing to define certain occurrences and modes of behavior as wrong, unacceptable, contemptible, condemnable, and even illegal, yet still be unwilling to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to combatting them, what does this really say about us as people?