I’m going to draw a stark comparison. While I–and many of my Catholic young adult peers in the D.C. area–spent the last several nights dancing (Saturday night), praying and attending mass with the bishop (Sunday night), and hanging out at Theology on Tap, listening to a local priest talk about the new liturgy (Monday night), our peers in London have spent the past three nights tearing their city apart.
According to a couple drunk chicks involved in the trouble (drunk, I should add, on wine they looted from a store they helped ransack), it’s “to show the rich people” (“rich” being, apparently, those who own businesses. I mean, for shame! How dare they live meaningful lives and make money!) and the police “we can do what we want.”
Did the “rich” people ask?
Besides which, is this what our London peers want? I mean, seriously, if I felt the need to show some class of people that I could do what I wanted, I wouldn’t do it by ransacking my hometown. A life of fear and violence definitely isn’t what I want. But apparently it’s what the British are going to get, as their brave young folk set about creating the world they dream of…by destroying the one their ancestors worked to build, and getting drunk off the pickings.
I can think of all sorts of reasonable wants from my generation. What do you want? I want a reasonably peaceful life, time with loved ones, a job that pays a decent amount, a roof over my head, and (most of all) to grow in virtue (or to put it in plain terms: to be a good person). But apparently not everyone wants that. It begs the question … what do they want?
I can’t really wrap my mind around all this at the moment, so I’m going to let that question hover, and perhaps revisit later. This is sobering, to say the least. So many in our generation don’t seem to have a clue what they want, but they’re not happy, and they assume it’s someone else’s fault. Blame your parents, your government, your neighbors who have more than you, your peers who are more popular than you, the teachers, institutions, or situations that have held you down. Run wild and demolish others’ livelihoods, beat, maim, even kill others, but never-never-never stop, make eye contact with that bloodied face in the mirror, and say, “Dammit, I’m my own problem.”
We’re all one choice away from happiness, really. It’s a yes or no proposition, not an accident dependent on circumstances. Do you want to be happy? Yes? Then be happy. That’s all there is to it. Those British girls aren’t going to be any happier tomorrow morning when they wake up hung over than they were before they started trashing their neighbors’ property. Just a little more wasted and a little more lost.