|This is true even if the caterpillar is figurative.|
In most of the world there is the potential for the innocent to be killed. In some places in the Middle East, daughters who displease their family may be killed for doing something that has displeased their families. In some nations on the continent of Africa, children have been kidnapped from their families, drugged, and taught to use automatic weapons in order to become child soldiers. Violence and injustice aren't restricted to places in the throes of war, like Syria. England, which prides itself of its being civilized, recently unearthed a ring of Muslim men who had been drugging and raping and turning young women from foster care into young prostitutes, to make money for them. There is no nation on Earth immune from the abuse of the innocent, from torture of some type or even from murder. In Mexico, cartels have beheaded those who were perceived to have crossed them, or who even look like someone who did.
When I was a child, I remember reading the Bible and thinking how much wickedness existed upon the Earth two thousand years ago. Some of it was beyond my imagining. How could brothers sell a brother because they were jealous of him ? How could they lie to their parents afterward about what happened to him ? How could Pontius Pilate have Jesus killed in such a fashion when He was preaching non-violence ? I realize now that as a child my parents worked very hard in order for me to grow up and meet my own human potential without being a witness to the dangers and violence which certainly existed beyond the safe bubble they created for me. I always thought that everything my father had told me about the world, and about violence was exaggerated, and of course, it wasn't.
Of course, the United States has no magic in having avoided the violence of Earth. There is plenty of violence going on in the US, and it is displayed nightly on local or national television. Very little is not announced here, and as a result, it sometimes looks as if the US is more violent than many places, when it, in fact, might not be. There is also a phenomenon which I will call layering for the purposes of this post. This means that a family might live in a region known for drug or violent activity. However, all the shooting or drug activity takes place between midnight and four in the morning. People who stay home within those hours might never see it, and may possibly never be impacted by it, at least to their own knowledge. For years I have lived in a very rural area and have not had too many indications of crime here. However, a friend of mine who works for the DEA tells me that my region is a hotbed of hidden rural drug activity. So, one person can live in a lovely area and believe that all is well, whereas another person might see a violent dangerous place even within the same zipcode.
Wherever we are, there is sadly more wickedness and more violence than ever before. Our present regime makes a great deal of any crime against someone African American, at the hands of someone caucasian or perceived as such, but they are totally quiet about cases like Jett Higham, a biracial young man, who was murdered by African Americans in a robbery gone wrong, when he had moved from New York City to Richmond, and had lived there only six days. I had not even heard of the cases of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom who Knoxville Tennessee teens were brutally tortured and murdered by a gang of African American young people. Sadly, the media politicizes murders rather than makes the statement that the torture and killing of human beings is simply wrong. It doesn't matter whether you are a wronged Muslim seeking to being attention to your cause. It doesn't matter if you are an individual seeking to bomb large companies you believe have done environmental wrongs to the planet. It doesn't matter if you think the African American man you are beating looks like the fella who robbed your brother in Petersburg. The only time in society that injuring or killing someone else is acceptable is in war, when you have no Earthly choice, or when you must shoot in self defense to save yourself, your family or an innocent in your group.
Our time on Earth is indeed as desperate and as violent as many of the things which are described in the Bible. In this sense, we certainly live in Biblical times. Be sure that you teach situational awareness skills to your children and your loved ones. Most of the time you can recognize when something "is not right". You might not be able to identify that the man staring at you is a serial killer or a sexual sadist, but chances are, he will seem a little creepy, or something won't feel quite right to you. We need to teach those we love to trust those feelings we get sometimes, and not to talk themselves out of them. "Trust your gut" is the motto at our house, and probably should be everywhere. Be careful out there.