What a Wonderful World! We all know that song, made most famous by Louis Armstrong and played so often in commercials these days.
It’s a noble sentiment and an incredibly positive way to view the cultural, social and cosmic forces that surround us.
Unless of course you read the newspaper or checked out the cable news station as I did one day last week as I was sitting in the lounge waiting to board an airplane.
Item: A newborn baby boy was flushed down the toilet by his 22-year-old mother in China. Incredibly, neighbors heard the baby crying and called for help. The firemen couldn’t get the baby out of the pipe but were alert enough to saw the pipe away from the toilet, and the baby was extracted intact from the pipe at the hospital.
That’s somewhat of a happy ending but what kind of person stuffs their baby in a toilet and leaves it to die. What kind of cultural forces are at play that would make a young woman behave in such an evil way.
Item: Social workers in California ignored repeated blatant signs of abuse by a sick woman and her psycho boyfriend and eventually they killed the woman’s eight-year-old boy.
Young Gabriel Fernandez was discovered with a fractured skull, three broken ribs and his skin was bruised and burned. He had BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin. Two of his teeth were knocked out of his mouth.
His mother’s boyfriend told authorities that the boy was beaten for lying and “being dirty”. Gabriel had been left at home despite six investigations involving the boy’s mother.
Item: A California woman was taking a stroll in her desert neighborhood when she was mauled by a pack of pit bulls. She had suffered over 150 puncture wounds and a dog was still tearing into her when Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene.
The woman died and the dog’s owner will be tried for murder. The 29-year-old man owned 8 dogs and there had been at least three other reports of attacks since January, yet the dogs were left in his custody.
Three very powerful examples of man’s inhumanity to man, especially disturbing because the victims were a newborn baby, a child, and a totally innocent bystander.
Add to these the recurring nightmares of American soldiers dying in Afghanistan, unbridled abuse against women around the world and in the US military, global warming, tornadoes in the mid-South, and drought throughout the southern part of the country–reading or watching the news can be a very sobering activity.
Many people have told me they just avoid the news because it’s so damned depressing. It’s hard to argue with them, but I’m a news junkie and always will be and hopefully I can occasionally find a story that will reaffirm my faith in human nature.
Unfortunately, it didn’t happen on that day. All of my sports teams had lost their games. the smog in LA was burning my eyes, and the Mayor of Toronto was still refusing to respond to allegations that he was smoking crack cocaine.
What is this World coming to? Play it again, Louie, keep reminding me about the skies of blue, the red roses too, and the bright blessed days ahead!