I believe we’ve become a shell-shocked nation. From 9-11 and Oklahoma City, from Columbine to the Boston Marathon, it seems like terrible things are happening, and we never know when the other shoe will drop.
Words are used that–before an action–meant nothing to the general public. Now, of course, all we have to say is “Columbine,” and everyone knows what we are referencing.
Sometimes it seems like the world is spinning out of control. What makes people do what they do? Is it a mental problem? A sacred cause? Or is it just plain evil?
What type of person would shoot up a school, a theater, a mall? I don’t know. I have no more answers than all the educated minds who try to contemplate and put a finger on what causes these outrages.
On one hand, I think sometimes these things are escalating. On the other hand, I’m not so sure. I think cruelty has been around for a long, long time.
The difference, I’m thinking, is people didn’t used to be saturated with it. No helicopter was in the air above Attila the Hun when he plundered. Nobody had on-the-spot reporting about religious wars (all sorts of religious wars). There used to be a prayer, “From the fury of the Norsemen, oh, Lord deliver us.”
Those in the way of the Norsemen knew all about it…but nothing was broadcast worldwide. Nobody took a photo on a smart phone.
I won’t even go into the Hitlers and Stalins of this world. But they were here, long before anyone really knew what was happening, until it was too late.
We can look at our own history of out-of-control cruelty. Wounded Knee comes to mind, as well as the Little Big Horn.
Then there are the people we now brand as serial killers, such as Ted Bundy. But Jack the Ripper was long before him.
We didn’t call them terrorists a few years ago, but we still had people who took their “cause” to the streets and attempted to make bloody statements.
After the recent Boston tragedy, it was on-the-spot reporting as the second brother was discovered and arrested. Not long ago, people wouldn’t know about all that for quite some time.
I don’t know what inspired Jodi Arias to slaughter her lover. The trial has seemed to go on forever. But what inspired Lizzie Borden to “take an ax” more than a century ago?
I’m also always devastated when I hear about child abuse and spousal abuse. But it didn’t start recently. It’s been going on for centuries, only nobody put it in our faces, as happens today via TV, the Internet, and talk shows.
I am absolutely not minimizing the terrible things that happen today. But I don’t think it is, “What is this world coming to?” I think we always had the bad guys…be it the Slaughter of the Innocents in Biblical times, or the same thing today. We’re just inundated with it now. We’re more aware, and we see things live on TV as it’s going down.
Some TV commentator on some program, just as the second Boston fugitive was caught, said, (I paraphrase), “At least we still have more good guys than bad guys.”
On the whole, he’s right. There are people all over the world who try to help, to aid, to do the right thing.
The horrible things that make news today have happened for thousands of years. We just learn about it faster—and it’s ingrained in our minds.
But we still have to be thankful for all the “good guys,” those who care, who try to make this world a more humane, kinder place. Those who don’t make judgments based on color of skin, or race, or religious beliefs.
Let’s hear it for the “good guys,” and pray there continue to be lots more of them.
Brought to you live…Attila the barbarian