I’m 9,000 miles away, but the Boston Marathon bombing has still hit so close to home. My prayers are out to the city of Boston and really who ever is responsible for this act. I currently live in a country where crimes like this are unheard of. My friends here ask me what 9/11 was like and what a “bomb threat,” is at school? Why did I grow up so differently than they did? Does America really have it that wrong?
My mother used to tell me that money was the “root of all evil.” And I will be the first to say America is much more capitalistically driven than the “no worries” lifestyle of Australia (but that is another blog itself). This along with the economy, drugs, and being a terrorist target may all combine to create this evil that seems to loom over my country.
The last Australian, “major shooting” was at Monash University where a student shot his classmate and teacher, killing two and injuring 5. This was in 2002. America’s most recent shootings were the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting where 26 people (20 children) died, and just 5 months prior was the Aurora shooting. Here 12 people were killed and 58 others were injured. This has been in the past 8 months. Now the debate is endless on gun laws and governmental policy, but I am not here to debate those issues. I am also not here to say the United States has got it all wrong either.
In looking at Australia vs the United States crime rates (sourced below), you would be surprised how America may just be put in the spotlight. Where of course America’s, “murder with fire arms” is 158% higher than Australia’s, the Aussies definitely don’t have a clean record. In fact, of the 17 crimes listed, Australia has a higher crime rate ranking than the U.S. in seven of those areas. One of which being rape where Australia has 150% more victims than America (as a percentage of the total population). Assault victims are 100% more than in the U.S. and Australia also ranks higher in suicide rates.
Now with all that being said, regardless of the country the crime is there. Whether it is America, Australia, or any other country in the world, crime and hate exist and are becoming more prevalent. If a government policy could fix this, there would be a country that would have discovered it already. We would all be migrating there to live in perfect peace and harmony. The problem is that when we arrived… it would be ruined. Because you see a country or a policy doesn’t create crime, people do. And it’s not just the “bad eggs” either, it’s me and it’s you.
I do think that the human race believes in the greater good. In general, people try to live in a nice, moral manner and that’s great, but that is the most of all they do.
When is the last time you lived fantastically? You did something extraordinary not for personal gain? You volunteered with an open spirit, stopped negative gossip, or smiled at the person who avoids eye contact with you on the side walk? You see it’s nice to drop a dollar in the homeless man’s bucket, but the 5 people before you also did that. How fantastic to stop in front of him, bend down, and shake his hand with a, “good day mate” before you dropped in that dollar. It’s not that we don’t know how to love others, but we fail to love fantastically. We fail to love with all of our hearts. When we fail to love, we allow room for hate.
I’m so over being a, “nice” person and loving the easy to love. How about in situations where it is not always convenient to be nice? How about when it is awkward to talk to the outcast? How about when we lay down at the end of each day and we can’t think of ONE thing we did to serve someone else that day? How about we think we live for a greater good, until another tragedy happens.
You see, whether you believe it or not, you live for something. It may your family, your God, karma, the greater good, I don’t care what you call it… but live for something. Live for something bigger than yourself. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love and care for others, leaving no room for hate to creep in them. Do something! Do something extraordinary every day for someone else. When we stop being the world’s best average nice guy, we will stop having an average nice life. When we start loving others fantastically, we start to live fantastically.
~ Haley Kesterson