Hush, little baby, don’t say a word, and never mind that noise you heard…
It’s all distractions. Everything around you, everything you do, everything presented to you…it’s all a series of unending distractions. Distractions from the terrible truth that the human race is perpetually one breath away from utter and total destruction. The world is a scary place. Natural disasters happen every day, sometimes even wiping out entire cities and populations. Countries wage war on one another, sometimes wiping out entire bloodlines. Humans kill and torture and disfigure one another…for what? Why? Could it be that, while there is good in some people, the majority are nothing more than brutal monsters, incapable of any emotions aside from hate and fury?
It’s too much. There’s no way. We can’t be that bad…can we?
I don’t want to think about it anymore. Maybe I’ll turn on the TV.
For the love of Christ…it’s on the TV. Maybe a book, then.
Nope. Everything on the page is hitting a little too close to home.
Time for a run.
Yeah, that was a bad idea. Still stuck inside my head.
You know, I think this might be why kids are afraid of the dark. Even as adults, we don’t really know what’s out there. Sure, we have a better idea of what might kill us, but we’re still oblivious to 99% of the dangers in the world. Kids know that things aren’t the way they should be, and they can’t imagine that people like mom and dad, the flesh and blood that they see every day through the car windows, or the people on TV could be responsible for anything bad.
Instead, they imagine that all the darkness they sense is caused by some other source, something totally inhuman and outside everything they know.
And yet this does very little to soothe their little souls. They still know that the world they live in is a scary, dangerous place. And they recognize, in some obscure way, that they can do nothing about it but hang on and hope the danger passes by. They hide under the covers and quiet their whimpers, holding their breath as they hope the monsters don’t notice them.
Parents attempt to calm their children’s fears the only way they know how; since children cannot be reasoned with (and truthfully, what human being, child or otherwise can be), they decide to distract them. And so they sing. They sing until the fearful little one falls into the graceful embrace of sleep.
That’s all any of us do, honestly. We do our best to distract ourselves from the horrifying realities of this life and hold on to the things that make us feel happy, safe, and secure. We know the demons are out there, lurking behind every tree and waiting in every shadow. Yet we avoid them, sidestepping even the briefest of glances, hoping they will all go away. We distract ourselves with petty things until we forget, and if we have exhausted our resources and we cannot forget, we wait for sleep to keep us safe.
I’m unsure what any of us can really do to change the situation. I have decided that the best thing I can do is simply be a good person, or at least try to be, and hope that my fellow homo sapiens will do the same. I do not have much faith in the human race, but what I do have is hope. Until things do change, I will continue to be nothing more than a scared little boy, hiding from the monsters in the dark, pretending to be brave. Until the people of earth become the majestic creatures they can and should be, I will continue to sing myself to sleep. I’ll hold on to my distractions until I am sure I won’t need them anymore.
…it’s just the beasts under your bed, in your closet, in your head…