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The Beast Within (700 Words)

[An internal dialogue regarding feelings of injustice in the world, originally written shortly after June 12th, 2016]

I’ve always had an internal anger inside me, gnawing away and fueled by my perceptions of the world. The anger, strengthened by people who kill, in the name of hate and extremism, those who are innocent and different for a war the victims are not even a part of…at least knowingly; cutting the thread of life before they can experience full lives, before they have a chance to fulfill their hearts, and before they can make the journey towards the summit of their potential.

And the sense of injustice that rages within me flows from inequity beyond the most extreme tragedies.  There are women, men, and children who are discriminated against every day.  There are people in the world who can’t see, can’t hear, can’t walk. Some are limited to an existence in which they can’t fully appreciate all that which is bestowed upon most humans to feel. Many are born in places where one hesitates to drink water, to find food, to gain knowledge, to breathe, to survive. Most won’t realize their passion and make a meaningful contribution to the world. Most won’t find lasting love. Too many die before they can even search.

I want to believe in God, because without God there is no true justice or equality in the world. As hard as we try and put faith into our human-made systems, there will be criminals who escape unharmed, innocents who get wrongly punished, and unequal distribution of every dimension of life and of every human trait. If we each have a judgement day and a reckoning, that is the only way to ensure that true justice is eventually served. I can stand in front of my Maker to atone knowing that every person that is out there, will have to answer for their burdens as well. Maybe the one who suffers in this life, prospers in the next.

Should I then bet on faith that there is justice in the afterlife, and ignore the transgressions around me? Should I continue to let the men and women who battle for my freedoms and security, who try to serve the underprivileged, and advocate for those in need, to fight on in this life while I strive for only me and my own? That is what my upbringing has taught me to do, but is that an honorable life worth living? It’s true that the more I can help myself and my family the more I can accumulate to eventually give back. But the more I attain the more I’ll only spend on a higher quality of life, trying to numb the anger and angst I feel now until the next trigger awakens the beast again.

Is it better to go to a corner of the world and find my peace and tranquility, if such a place exists? As much as I want to believe it does, I can’t find it. I must emancipate my ignorance and the pain I feel; to stop living selfishly, thinking that achieving my own personal security will shield my soul from the darkness. And although I do believe good overwhelmingly outweighs bad, the good is quiet. And the bad is deafening. It seeps through every medium. It shrouds my heart.

I don’t know my value in the world but I know that the little I may be able to do can be put to more meaningful use than it is today. While true justice is unachievable in our lifetimes, I have to believe the pursuit is still worth the blood, sweat, and countless shed tears. Can I succumb then to the feeling that sits like a snake in my chest and act, hoping to quench its thirst, but knowing that it will most probably always linger? I hope that courage will fill find me one day so that I have the strength to unshackle myself from the privileged life that I’ve worked for but that I can’t help to feel I don’t deserve…and take what action I can to bring some light to the darkness…and finally shackle the creature who has agonized me my entire life.

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