Most of the time, I believe that we are more alike than different, that we can move past the darkness and into the light, and that people are inherently good. Whenever I feel despair over the future of our planet, I look at my children and see loving, kind, and all around good humans. Other times, I share my disillusionment with those working in emerging technology, including VR, AR, and medicine, only to be reminded that the world can and will be a better place because millions of people are working to do just that.
This week, however, my beliefs have been tested. I have watched in horror as Texans are freezing to death without much help from their elected officials. Reading what Tim Boyd, Mayor of Colorado City — who has since resigned — wrote to the residents of his town has made me question people’s inherent goodness. Boyd’s statement was downright mean and sociopathic. When I first read it, I thought it couldn’t be real. You can read what he said here, but the gist is this: pull yourself up by your bootstraps, you lazy people, and stop asking for a handout. As a reminder, this was in response to residents who had simply asked where they could get help during the storm. People are dying, and the first response from Republican lawmakers was that you’re lazy and to figure it out for yourself? Nice.