What is it about tragedy that brings out the worst in people?
I know what you’re thinking: Tragedies can also bring out the best. We have seen how America has banded together in the wake of the terrible devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Jose.
But then, there’s the recent Las Vegas shooting.
I’m not going to go into the gory details here, but suffice it to say an incredibly evil man shot a bunch of people at a music festival, killing close to 60 and wounding hundreds of others before turning the gun on himself.
Once again, the reaction to this act of inhumanity is nearly as inhuman as the act itself.
No, you see, it wasn’t the killer who bears responsibility. It’s the NRA. It’s NRA members. It’s the Republican Party of the United States of America. It’s any lawmaker who didn’t vote to enact laws (that wouldn’t have made a difference anyway). It’s anyone who supports the Second Amendment. It’s anybody who likes country music. It’s anybody who voted for Donald Trump. It’s Donald Trump himself (for God’s sake, the man is living rent-free in 60,000,000 people’s heads. Why does anybody let a politician control their thoughts and emotions?!).
The impulse to immediately start casting blame at people who had nothing to do with an act of violence instead of blaming the actual perpetrator is terrifyingly inhuman and evil.
It’s sick and it’s wrong and it explains so much of what is going on in this country.
How do you overcome this? How do you get over hatred, which seems to be one of the easiest, most enjoyable emotion to succumb to?
For starters, you have to imagine the other person as a human being with a soul and inherent worth. This might take a hell of a lot of imagination, but it can be done. And once it’s done, you start to extrapolate what would happen if this person were to die:
- Do they have wife? Children? A family?.
- Do other people enjoy spending time with them? Are other people relying on them?
- How would other people’s lives be impacted if this person were to die?
- What about the important people in your life? How would they be affected if you died?
- How would you feel if someone that you cared for were murdered merely for their beliefs or opinions?
Really, it’s no different than the old cliche of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. These are really basic, human questions to act. And yet humanity seems in such short supply. Continue reading “Inhumanity Is All The Rage These Days”