Fury and Numbness

I enjoyed reading this Freshly Pressed post about the ridiculousness of social media and “social justice.” (I’m not even sure what that term means anymore.) I know the post is written tongue-in-cheek, but it served as another reminder that so much of what we hear about and read generates only impotent fury because we’re not going to do anything productive about it anyway except blog about it and maybe rant to our loved ones in the privacy of our home where everyone agrees with us anyway.

So here goes my impotent blog post:

I’ve seen lots of social media posts and news articles about the killing of Cecil the lion by some dentist with too much money, too much time on his hands, and not enough compassion for an animal who was only trying to live out its days in peace. Variants on this theme happen all the time, and although the ubiquity of it doesn’t make it right, it is no longer surprising that humans do cruel things to animals. You’ve surely heard about small dogs being snatched from their owners’ yards to be used as bait for pit bulls or people duct-taping their hounds’ muzzles shut because they won’t stop barking and neighbors are threatening to call animal control. All of this cruelty induces fury because these animals are loved, they have names, and they have cute faces and eyes that look at us with worshipful adoration even after we abuse them.

Then there’s the other fury-inducing thing: the media story that’s most “in competition” with the Cecil story. You know, the one about Planned Parenthood allegedly selling the body parts of human fetuses and discussing how best to kill a new human life in order to preserve its parts so they can be sold. Instead of being furious that others aren’t as furious about this as they seem to be about the demise of Cecil, I’m just depressed. I realize that I should be outraged and inspired to bring down the culture of death that still spreads its dark wings over us. But this type of cruelty is also no longer surprising. Children have been killed in the womb since the beginning of time, and because of how long this has been going on, we have become numb to it. We are even more numb because these human beings do not have names. We have not seen their faces or gotten to know their unique personalities or heard their cries of pain.

The fact that we are numb and desensitized should incite us to fury, but ironically, because we are numb, it’s going to take us a long time to feel the pins and needles, get back on our feet, and fight for what is right.