Friday, July 20, 2012

Tragedy in Colorado

This morning, Americans awoke to news that has echoed around the world.  An armed gunman marched into a Colorado movie theatre during a midnight showing of "The Dark Night Rises" and fired into the spectators, killing at least twelve people and injuring at least fifty more.  The news is horrific, and everyone--from politicians to the media to ordinary citizens--is expressing shock.  When I checked Facebook this morning, friends from as far away as Australia and Europe were sending prayers to those affected.

When such a tragedy occurs, it is natural for us to theorize about why such things happen.  We want to find a reason for an act that is so senseless, but no reasonable answer can be found in so terrible an act.  We want an answer because this senseless violence makes us fearful for our own safety.  How many of those people in that theatre imagined they would die while attending a movie?  The very thought reminds us of the fragility of our own lives.

When we ask why, we have to acknowledge that violence surrounds us in the world.  War engulf large parts of the globe.  Violence in our streets has taken the lives of many innocents, and as a society, we have become less tolerant, more violent, and angrier as each year passes.  We care less about others' feelings and well-being, worrying only about our own needs, feelings, and opinions.  Drivers scream at other motorists. Politicians  snipe and cast blame but don't work together.  Common citizens insult each other on the Internet--on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.  Very few debates take place with respect.  We're all too busy attacking each other's morals or opinions to listen to anyone's point.  We don't think we can or should respect anyone who isn't our carbon copy.  Our collective mantra is, "I'm right, and you don't matter.  You are only something to be crushed or shot down."

Remember a few years ago when rabid Walmart customers trampled a guard at Christmastime in their quest to be first in the store?  Their goal: collect some lame gifts and beat the other shoppers to it.  Why are we so shocked about Colorado?  It's typical of what we as human beings are becoming.  Our collective mantra: "I'm pissed, I don't like you, and I don't care if you're hurt!"


  1. You are so right about our society hitting an epic fail. I don't think we have a lot further to fall before something drastic happens globally. On the other hand there are so many people out there who are nice and who do care about others. The problem is they are few and far between whereas it used to be everyone. I hope the tides turn for all of our sakes.

  2. Nope. I disagree with your last statement: "...typical of what human beings are becoming." This is the very propaganda that the media is so hellbent on portraying. The world is going to hell in a hand basket.

    I refuse to believe this. Granted, there are mentally ill people in the world and they do bad things. But most people are good, honest, decent, caring individuals that would offer you a blanket or a glass of water if you needed it. People are always offering help to one another in a time of crisis. Even in the theater there were people helping other people.

    Yes, people have issues and sometimes we're all guilty of being selfish. This is just part of the human condition. However, we can't, MUST NOT believe that humanity is on a downward spiral. This is incident in Colorado was a freak anomaly, carried out by a mentally ill person.

    The sun is still shining. My flowers are still blooming and I'm still breathing decently clean air. Life is worth living. This is what I'm telling my kids because it's what I believe.

    1. I'd love to think such things are freak incidents, but I think we do have a disconnect in society that allows us to see others as less valuable than ourselves. Violence has always been with us, but we are becoming less shocked by it and more willing to shrug it off. What's a shame is that many people who do terrible things aren't mentally ill. They're pissed off and want their fifteen minutes. Yes, life is worth living, but we are becoming more immune to violent acts and are often simply rude to each other--even over trivial matters. Some people are simply loud and blow off steam, and of course, you have decent people who want to help others. Of course, it's safe to give to charity when there's some crisis. I'm not saying people shouldn't. I do give to others in a crisis, but I do think many people harbor a great deal of hostility today. For example, if kids had a beef with each other at one time, they fought it out, but then, it was over. Now, they show up with guns and take out everyone. Yes, nature hopefully will continue (as long as we don't blow each other up). The sun will shine and flowers will bloom. I just hope we as human beings can enjoy the sun and flowers in the future.