Last week, I held a canister of cyanide gas that was used by the Nazis to kill and “exterminate” hundreds of people that they deemed unfit to live, according to their warped and disgusting sense of human worth.
Well, to tell you the truth, it was actually a replica can, but the horrific, murderous message is all the same.
My career affords me some incredible opportunities at times, including the chance to take in some truly unique and eye-opening events. Last week was one of those times, when I drove down to Dinsmore to attend the school’s “Genocide Awareness Day”. I walked into the classroom and immediately saw Nazi uniforms dangling on coat hangers, and the desks in the room were covered in historical photos that showcased the gut-wrenching realities of the Holocaust in all its terrible glory.
The presentations that day not only focused on the Holocaust, but also the Holodomor famine deaths in the Ukraine, and I don’t mind telling you that the events of the day really made an impact on me. Seeing and hearing about the kind of horrors that took place a lifetime ago really puts things into perspective.
Or at least I think it should, especially in these rather-luxurious times that we live in now.
It got me thinking about how we operate today as a society; as a functioning, 21st-century group of people that has everything at our beck and call, yet we still find a way to complain about the littlest of things, or we overreact when we don’t agree with other points of view on any number of topics.
Louis CK is my favorite comedian, and he got a little philosophical once on a late-night talk show when he said, “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy.” Essentially, he was venting about how everyone is spoiled because they have all this technology and don’t appreciate it, but instead of being cranky about it, he was hilarious and made a great point about how all this everyday stuff we use is really amazing.
On phones freezing: “Give it a second! It’s going to space! Can you just give it a second to get back from space?!?”
Complaining on flights: “Everybody on every plane should just constantly be going ‘Oh my God! Wow!’ You’re flying! You’re sitting in a chair, in the sky!”
He’s 100% right.
I also think about how some people act when it comes to demonstrating their beliefs or views, and it just makes me shake my head. The human race has gone from experiencing the absolute horrors of war and genocide, all the way to throwing temper tantrums if we don’t get our way or feel we’re not “being heard enough”.
We’ve become a people that walk around the homeless on our way to rallies about fighting for bathroom rights.
We’ve become a people that goes on and on about freedom of speech, but then decide to riot and light university campuses on fire when we hear of someone wanting to exercise that freedom.
We’ve become a people that disrupt traffic and even go so far as to sit on and hang off vehicles trying to enter a political dinner event.
You know what bathroom rights the Jews had during the Holocaust? None that I can think of. Go where you stand? Soil yourself?
How about that freedom of speech? It’s probably safe to say they were shot on sight if they decided to open their mouths and say something not in line with the Fuhrer.
Holding a political protest? See the above reaction from practicing freedom of speech.
We seem to have no earthly idea we good we have it, or at least we’re losing more and more sight of it. It shouldn’t take a presentation on the Holocaust to open one’s eyes to how lucky we are to live in a free country, with all its amenities, but maybe it’s the kind of inner system shock that’s required once in a while.
For this week, that’s been the Ruttle Report.