When did the future switch from being a promise to a threat?
– Chuck Palahniuk
I’d like to acknowledge that at a certain stage in everybody’s life, no matter the socioeconomic or sociopolitical crises the world might be undergoing, the future seems like a threat. When you’re threatened by your middle school teacher that you will fail if you do not hand in your assignment. When you’re graduating from high school and you feel lost. When you’re under the constant pressure of getting a good GPA because otherwise you will probably end up being unemployed and homeless. When you’re graduating from university and the world just seems like it will eat you up. But lately, the future seems like an epidemic that we are all running scared from.
With everything that’s going on in the world, with all the war and the hate and the terror and all things unkind and ugly, everything poses some kind of a threat. We’ve come to live in a world where childbearing mothers question if they are making a mistake by bringing life into this chaos, into this pandemonium we call our world.
Politics seem to have taken a backseat in the news as increasingly horrible things keep happening all over the world. The headlines of newspapers always appear to be bloodstained. Sometimes with that of those brave enough to flee the terror they are facing and sometimes with that of those barbarous enough to massacre their own kind. While some are fighting for peace, some are bloodthirsty, fighting for war. There are an increasing number of places where people cannot step out onto the streets safely. There are an increasing number of places headlining the news. Some go unheard of, and some go viral.
Everyday as we face these terrors, I witness more and more people using phrases beginning with “Allah korusun” (meaning may God protect you; can be used after talking about something terrible (like a terrorist attack), with the meaning God, please don’t let this awful thing happen). But so long as we don’t acknowledge that we are not the only victims, so long as we don’t recognize each other as innocent and subject to the same terrors, so long as we consider one’s suffering to be greater than others, so long as we don’t unite we will continue to experience this and we will continue to pray that it’s not our life that will be on the line next time around.
For the future to be a promise and not a threat…