Better Tomorrow by M.D. Neu
Here’s the thing. I want to envision a better tomorrow. I want a future where we all get along and everyone respects each other. A future where everyone contributes to our better world. A time when everyone who needs help. Gets help. How can this happen, when all we do is tear each other apart. Recent events made me question everything about us. Is this really who we are? Speaking with someone who I judge to always see the good in society I posed that question to him, because I’ve been so shaken by the madness going around me, I expected a calm, reassuring answer.
What I got instead was harsh reality. His answer to my question was:
“Yes, this is the type of society we have chosen, and yes this is who we are.”
I about fell over. At first, I thought he didn’t understand my question, but the more we talked the more I realized he did understand the question. His answer, however, was something I didn’t want to agree with, but had to. Because he’s right.
Culture and Law; that’s what makes up who we are. We choose absolute individual freedom over anything else. You have the right to do and say anything you want (yes there are limits but not many and I’m not interested in debating semantics). How we choose to live isn’t bad or wrong, but how we live does make up who we are. As such, recent events are the dark shadow of that choice, but that’s not all. I suppose we, as a society, crave it. We make celebrities out of these monsters. We do little to stop the monster next door. When these tragic events occur, our media is there ready to broadcast it around the world. Sometimes even helping those they interview to make the story more powerful.
Almost too punctuate this point a friend of mine posted this on Facebook:
I know a lot of you are heartbroken about this latest school shooting. During such times, there’s a natural desire to ensure these tragedies never happen again. Social media is flooded with folks lashing out as their pain turns to anger. Soon, you get the usual bucket-of-crabs approach that goes nowhere.
But what’s driving the insanity?
Before you insert your favorite cause & remedy, let me throw this out: most of these monsters seem to crave fame (infamy).
Back in the days of journalistic integrity, when something like this happened, the news services never showed the murderer’s face. Many never said or printed their name. Hard to form a cult of personality around ‘some guy’.
Today, the major news services show hours of police officers moving in tactical formations, students flooding out of their schools, witnesses crying, and chaos and misery everywhere. They post the murderer’s picture and within minutes of the discovery, everyone knows the newest name of evil. People who are mentally on the edge take note and maybe some sad few start planning how they can get on the news for several days and how their name can come to be known by everyone…
There was more to his post, but you get the idea. What my friend posted is correct but it’s only part of the problem. Yes, our media cares more about sensationalism and ratings than good taste and integrity. But we allow it. We reward this disgusting behavior everyday. The media gives us what we want. Instead of forcing us to look in the mirror and see the real monsters.
We as a people choose to ignore the warming signs. Our schools ignore them. Our police ignore them. Even our Government ignores them. We do nothing until something awful happens. It’s a cycle. In a few weeks, we’ll forget and move on to continue our idealization of the ‘insert popular celebrity here’ and in a month or so the whole awful thing will happen again.
It makes me wonder about the kind of world we’re going to be living in down the road. What kind of world are we leaving for the children who are born today? I want to believe in a better tomorrow. It is my hope and dream that we as a people will achieve greatness. That tends to be the focus of my writing, but recently I’m not sure if we’re going to have it.
I don’t have answers and I’m not sure what the solutions are. But, I do recognize that it’s going to take more than some blanket knee-jerk reaction. We’re going to need to have hard conversations, honest thought, and most of all a desire to make changes (both in our laws and our culture).
Ask yourselves this: What kind of world do I want to live in? Am I willing to make the changes and sacrifices it’s going to take? Am I willing to be my brother’s keeper? Am I even interested in changing my own personal culture? Am I willing to look at the whole and not one symptom?
I want to imagine that we are a better people. I want to consider myself a better person. So, when I contemplate these questions you would assume my answer to each one would be yes, but if I’m honest. My answer is always, “I don’t know.” You see, just like everyone else, I’m part of this problem.
Perhaps my problem, our problem, is we’re too comfortable living with the dark shadows of our culture. We’ve grown to need that shadow and miss it when we don’t see it. For all our sakes I hope I’m wrong, because I want a better tomorrow, not just for us but for the next generation.
M.D. Neu is a LGBTQA Fiction Writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he’s always been fascinated with what could be. Specifically drawn to Science Fiction and Paranormal television and novels, M.D. Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, Alfred Hitchcock and Kim Stanley Robinson. An odd combination, but one that has influenced his writing.
Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man, he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.
When M.D. Neu isn’t writing, he works for a non-profit and travels with his biggest supporter and his harshest critic, Eric, his husband of eighteen plus years.
Other books by M.D. Neu
A Dragon for Christmas