These reflections often incite more unanswerable questions about humans as well as myself. Who am I? I feel as if that is a question that is impossible to answer. I realize that I have such a limited understanding of myself because I haven’t experienced every circumstance that exists. Although in the past, I have struggled with addiction and self-destructive tendencies, my pain sometimes seems inadequate in comparison to the suffering of the people who experienced the most horrific, shameful, and abominable events of human history. When I think about the Holocaust, the oppression of people throughout history, slavery, war, genocides, massacres, starvation, and poverty, I experience such a profound feeling of despair, sympathy, and helplessness. It’s such a powerful feeling that all I can do is weep and question the motives of those who have inflicted pain upon other humans who are, and had always been, their equals. This is one of the reasons why I disagree adamantly with war. Every time I watch a movie or read a book about a particular war, I am horrified by the desensitization of people who glorify violence and killing. It’s hard for me to watch people die. I try to imagine myself in a war zone. I would witness people dying before my eyes. I would see mass destruction, suffering, and death. It would absolutely destroy me and transform me into a hollow apathetic shell of my former self.
Perhaps I am distressed by this concept because I am a person that feels everything so intensely and passionately. I am naturally inclined to see the good in people. In many ways, this is a flaw because I truly believe that everyone possesses an intrinsic goodness; even those who have murdered, plundered, and caused pain to others. It’s difficult for me to accept that the most notorious and horrible people in history did not possess a small sliver of compassion and remorse. There are those who become so consumed with destructive and terrible motives and emotions that they began to disregard the natural human inclination to be kind and sympathetic. I am not justifying the actions of those who have been labeled as “horrible” people. I am offering a new perspective on those that make poor decisions and cause pain.
I will never understand it. That strangely offers me solace. For I predict that if I were ever to learn the truth, it might destroy me.
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