Wall of Vets, from Reddit

July 27, 2020

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

I’ve always tried to be an optimist, but I think my natural state tends toward realism with a hint of pessimism. Sometimes optimism is at odds with the current state of reality.

If you spend much time reading the news lately, you might think think there’s an ongoing civil war. My opinion is that you’d have to be incredibly ignorant to look at current events and not understand how decades of racial injustice, oppression, stagnant wage growth, and decreasing opportunities have led to social unrest. Add to that a new populist movement toward fascism, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

I’ve spent a lot of time learning about history, and in particular studying the events around the second world war. By the way, there are multiple good WW2 documentaries on Netflix. I also recommend Oliver Stone’s documentaries for an easy way to consume historical content.

One thing that fascinates me about WW2 history is the amount of positivity that remained against all odds. Life was incredibly difficult for anyone living in Germany, France, Britain, Japan, or any other place that became the site of battle. Countries were literally dropping huge bombs on major populated cities, and civilians were left to fend for themselves. Most people focus on the military aspect of war, but few tend to think about the people just trying to live their lives and get by while bombs were falling on their heads.

I think about what’s currently going on in the world, and while it worries me, I also think we live in a relatively peaceful time with little to worry about (in the first world at least).

One thing that gives me hope about the future is the way people have decided to reject fascist tendencies through civil disobedience. This is something that, to the best of my knowledge, didn’t occur in Nazi Germany during Hitler’s rise to power. For the most part he gained control unopposed.

The Internet and social media–for better or worse–has made it really difficult for governments to do bad things, because it’s relatively easy to share information. So long as people are free to share information unobstructed, the government will have a hard time committing crimes.

A world without censorship is a free world.


© 2020 Brenden Matthews, some rights reserved.