We Are Only Human, After All

A friend of mine asked me this:

“Do you think that people who deny climate change are happier than people who don’t?”

I thought about this for a moment, and responded with a very confident, “Yes.”

I didn’t think long enough. Of course, happiness does not discriminate based upon one’s environmental notions—at least, not wholly. Man-made climate change may sound like quite a reality to an individual struggling with happiness, just as it would for someone who couldn’t be living it any better.

I’ve mulled over my response, and decided that ‘happiness’ was not the right word for this question.

Granted, not all Creationists or hyper-conservatives are happy, but possessing the ability to disregard something that threatens the existence of life on Earth as we know it must alleviate some inherent distress.

I wonder if this is a possible reason for why one might be a denier; they are afraid of being responsible for the fate of the world.

While I lament the choices they make in regards to this denial, I don’t blame them. No matter how many statistics bombard screens, books, and magazines, the fear remains. The confusion remains. And the comfort of choosing denial—not too far off—remains. Some will recede into this pocket of denial, because fear is all-consuming.

We are only human, after all. Fear and fate combined will daunt, twist, challenge our intuitions. The size of the catastrophe is irrelevant. There will always be deniers, because there will always be a flicker of happiness, of comfort, to retreat to—no matter how small.

I’m Tired Of This

“Dear Friend,

You, yes, you—put it down.

Right. Now.

I don’t care how important that text message is. I don’t care how hilarious that photo-shopped picture of a demonized infant is. I don’t care if you need to check your grades right now. It’s not important.

As a matter of fact, I’m tired of coming to eat lunch with you every day. I’m tired of that look on your face when you scroll through trash on some website. I can leave right now, if I wanted to. You know, I think I will. I think I’ll just pack up my stuff and leave this table. It’s not like we were talking about anything, anyways.

No, you don’t look aloof. Yes, everyone can see right through that “I’m so preoccupied with my email that I can’t make eye-contact” expression. No matter what it is you’re doing on that screen, I can’t tell you how ridiculous you look to me. Please, just drop it. Look at me. Say something, anything, to me.

I miss you, so dearly much, my friend.

I’m tired of this.”

A Plea from Room 105

All I do is learn.

I’m sick and tired of learning.

 

What do I wish to do?

I want not to learn, but to do.

 

I want to discover.

I want to create.

 

I want to stop all the absorbing, and forgetting—

start giving, and remembering.

 

I want to make a change, not just in routine.

I want to impact. Not wait for the fall.

 

I don’t want to be the best of them all.

I want to soar, on my own accord.

 

Here I am, not boxed in, not at all.

I am roped down.

 

Yes, my mind is free to wander, to dream

But it’s a give-and-take scheme.

A sugar-coated plotting.

My life set on a one-track train

determined by a letter,

A.

 

From the very beginning, I was drowned

within a crucible none other than life itself.

It is the illusion that as I grow older, I grow

Freer.

 

Numbers are my love-hate relationship

Charting my course towards the end.

An end that sucks up—

everything.

All that is too imperative

for waste.

 

 

This cinderblock-classroom teaches me nothing, don’t they see?

Eighteen years shut up in a dream

Where my pen shuffles across endless seas of blue lines

If I tell you how many times I have written the letter, ‘x’

You might just cry

quaking with laughter.

 

It is not the end of the world, they say

These days of youth are a blessing—for today.

I have not witnessed the gore-webbed flesh of soldiers, face-to-face

But I’ve seen thousands within the glistening pages of AP U.S. History.

So am I thankful to be locked up, here?

To cherish this hushed moment of solitude?

Of keyboard clicks and time bombs

crooked spines, fist-fights?

 

For all the hours I’ve spent finding the radius of Circle A

and tallying the deaths of truths, empires, and dramatis personae

I could have been lending a hand

to the blind.

The sick.

The starving.

The decrepit.

I could have been saving a life

Lifting trembling fingers from a trigger.

My shoulders are strong, from carrying paper and lead

though my hands are scrawled all over with the dead.

With the lives I could have saved.

The tears I could have caught.

That grasp on adventure, that slipped away too, too fast…

 

Stop it.

 

Why even bother, wishing for such things?

Life is not a game to play, don’t you understand, love?

You may rebel all you like, my dear, but “I’ve saved lives” is not guaranteed

to make a dent in your

Future applications.

 

Suck it up, my friend.

You are never to be defined by a letter, number, or any photograph

Just your time.

 

See, the thing is

I know more than you ever could,

about the world.

But tell me, please, I beg of you—

what does life look like, outside an iron-barred window?

How could you survive, without a pyramid of text to keep you sane?

Calculations to stimulate your brain?

What’s a heart without a label?

Your ways confuse me, Freedom.

I already know, that wars don’t happen in other worlds.

 

I just choose to ignore them.

 

I could go on and on with this ramble.

Keep my book eclipsed beneath binder rings, pen moving at a generic pace

But the bell is about to shriek

for the hundredth time this year.

And I will have to move on

and learn about

 

I forgot.