I once would ridicule society for recognizing the death of an important individual. Often I found myself pointing to the hoards of starving children in Africa or the masses of workers in China that are exploited to death for minimal wages. It didn’t seem fair that the world would shed a tear for the death of one individual, a person of wealth or fame, but then not spare a moment of their time to mourn the untimely deaths of thousands of people at any given moment. Thousands of people starve to death every day, hundreds more are killed in conflict around the world. These injustices are often met by only a few moments on the evening news while in polarized light we would spend weeks hearing about the death of Micheal Jackson or Billy Mays. I was disgusted with every discussion I heard pertaining to those popular subjects and in a few situations I could not contain my anger. I lost quite a few friends over it all, they found themselves unable to handle my ridicule. I don’t step down from these thoughts, it is still an issue that we find ourselves unable to focus on the world outside of Hollywood but I think I have found some new light in it all. Steve Jobs was a brilliant man. I will be the first to admit that I was not the biggest fan of his business practices but he was certainly a wise man no less. With that said, I think this overabundance of support from the online community that I am seeing may have something to do with it. I looked back a little farther. Billy Mays was a prominent family man and was often described as a loving and caring man with a great attitude towards life. Micheal Jackson, although we often make fun of him for his personal life decisions, was a strong voice for love and unity among civilization.
I think there is a connection between these people. They each had deeply moving qualities about them and it showed. Perhaps it isn’t the infrangible connection to fortune and fame that drew out sympathy upon their demise, perhaps it is an internal mourning over the loss of something good in a seemingly terrible world. They were something we knew and cherished and we would never have them back. On the otherside of the coin we have hordes of unpublished and faceless victims of a cruel reality, a reality we want desperately to escape at any cost. Maybe society does care but we are scared to face it.
I feel like maybe I stretched this a little too much but in this light, I cannot help to feel hopeful for us all.
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.