Monsters of the World
Monsters of the World
The world of today is not the same world I was born into. That, however, has a whole lot to do with me, and in turn a whole lot less with the world itself.
You see, when I was born, my father thought I was the single most important thing in the whole wide world, and so when I was just a child, I was taken well care of. Consequently, as a child I lived in a world that was gentle, benevolent, and compassionate. Or that's how I perceived it.
But my perception of the world was but one of millions, and as I grew, I slowly but steadily got increasingly inclined to see it. And so the world changed before my eyes, as the wind of change tickled my comprehension. I traveled, and I attained an education, and my perception of the world got shaped and reformed, restored to the purity of existence of a guileless mind, like a play dough in the hands of a child.
When I started to be of age, not least in the eyes of my father, I started to realize I was often disagreeing with other people. And there was no one I could disagree with as easily as I could with my father. We had great differences of opinion, of ways in which we construed the world. He was of a different generation, for sure, and that was one thing. But even though generations do differ, I believe individuals do so even more. And I believe our disagreements could be accounted for through the latter. We had different lenses through which we perceived the world. He was my fallible scapegoat in overlooking the richness of the diversity of humanly opinions, and I was his.
I especially remember this one time, the first time I ever embellished my comprehension of the world, when there was a school shooting in Southampton. There was a teenage boy, a school boy, who somehow had managed to get a hold of a gun, to bring the gun to his school, and end up killing nine people including himself. Five pupils of the school were shot to death, and in addition three teachers and the headmaster. And, lastly, the gunner had brought down himself, apparently sufficing in taking away eight lives. Or whatever.
The incident was obviously horrendous, the first such carnage that had happened in my life in the humdrum town of Southampton, where nothing bad ever happens. And the fact that it involved school children, people who both need and convey feelings of safety and security, rendered it even more horrendous. But, on that night when I was watching the news on the telly with my father, and they broke the news of the shooting, my father told me it was the most sinister and malign incident he'd ever heard of.
"That is just plain evil. Absolutely evil. How can someone do something like that. I have never heard of such a horrible carnage" he'd said.
"Yeah..." I'd replied rather phlegmatically.
"What's that, son, you don't seem to be too moved about the shooting. Innocent people have died..."
"It's not that bad."
"Excuse me? You seem to be lacking a sense of relativity, boy..." "Something bad like that happens all the time all over the world. People die every day in horrible accidents and disasters and so on. Last week thousands of people died in China in a horrible landslide. I didn't see you sobbing about that last week. And thousands hardly compare with nine! I believe you're the one who lacks a sense of relativity," I'd said very seriously.
"Is that so, boy? You don't seem to be getting the point..."
"You don't seem to be getting the point, though. Or are you saying that nine British lives are worth more than thousands of Chinese lives. And it's not just the Chinese. People die all over the world, it's just that they perhaps make smaller headlines than a shooting in your back