Three images from the past few days have stuck in my mind.
The first was a group of anti-immigrant protesters screaming at a bus thought to be filled with Central American child refugees. It was instead filled with kids from the YMCA.
The second, even more disturbing, was of Israelis gathered on a hill overlooking the Gaza Strip, cheering as the Israeli Defense Force pummeled Gazans from land, sea, and air, Gazans unable to defend themselves, the rockets which Hamas launch towards Israel of no scope to combat a modern military.
The third was of drunken Russian separatists not permitting international investigators from working on the wreckage of the Malaysian Airlines jet shot down by, well, Russian separatists (with, I’m sure, an able assist from Russian military), leaving the strewn bodies to fester in the summer sun.
I’ve been struggling to put the events of the past week into some overarching structure. Yes, we can castigate Israelis, Russians, and Americans at the border. But taken in isolation they don’t present a clear picture. Taken in totality, one working with the other, they present a narrative.
Humans are on a precipice. We face challenges not faced by any previous generation. Despite the end of the Cold War, we are on a road to ruin. Not, perhaps, by nuclear Armageddon, but by an Armageddon of a thousand cuts: a war here, an atrocity there, and the ever looming shadow of global climate change. We’re quite aware of the warnings, quite cognizant of the dangers ahead, but can’t seem to refrain from acting in the old, tired ways.