Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A sign of the times.

A truly sad social commentary played out recently in the Amish community in Lancaster. It is inconceivable that anyone would enter a school and shoot children, and it is particularly heinous in a community of known pacifists. (Murder in any form is never acceptable, and when the act is perpetrated on a group known not to defend themselves physically it is like shooting fish in a barrel and particularly reprehensible.)

Shooting children has seemed to become acceptable in some people’s minds, whether it is kids shooting other kids or now even adults shooting children. It goes to show that these people (both types of murders) care for nothing except their own desires, no matter how abhorrent or malicious. Self has become the focus instead of community; and I know this is not my first diatribe on the subject of selfishness, but it is an issue that people need to hear about for the betterment of life for all of us.

I guess what disturbs me most about this is that there will be people out there that will try to figure out why Roberts did this, but that really doesn’t matter now. What does matter is seeing the upward trend of violence (especially that perpetrated against children), and trying to find a solution for all of society. Of course this is impossible; first off because what will happen is that there will be reactive measure put into place (band-aid mentality) and it will be accepted as being fixed. But no matter what security measures are put in place, it is no substitute for proper parenting with family, community, and moral values. Secondly it is because society as a whole is unwilling to change its belief that the individual comes first, to that of one where the community (or others) should come first. (For example, look at these common sayings. "If it feels good do it", "If you don’t like it, change it", and even in music you find lyrics like this one from Sloan’s song titled "If it feels good do it"; "If it feels good do it -Even if you shouldn't". Even look at modern business practices; you are encouraged to step on whoever it takes to make it to the top, instead of giving your neighbor a hand up when he’s down.) And thirdly, it is because we have devalued human life right from the stage of conception. When our own governments condone the murder of the most innocent of human beings at their most vulnerable time of life, the message they send to the immoral masses is that anyone else’s life is not as important as yours.

This is why I say that the current shootings are a commentary on society, because society shares the responsibility with the offender for encouraging this mentality of self importance. When we elevate the importance of self over the importance of community welfare, we come up with situations where eventually the individual will feel violence is legitimate because what they want is more important than anything else. This type of logic does not take into account the wants or needs of others, and only that of the individual. It is a self defeating way of thinking, because if all we think about is what we want (and then fall in with the current trend toward violence to achieve those goals) we will eventually kill off the human race.

I pity the family of Charles Roberts, because the children will have to grow up knowing their father murdered completely helpless children, his wife will wonder how the man she loved could ever do something so amazingly terrible and how will she ever explain it to her children, and his parents will ask themselves where they went wrong.

But in the end this falls on no ones shoulders but Charles Carl Roberts, and even though he took his own life he will face a justice far mightier than anything here on earth.


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