Tag Archives: Marjorie stoneman Douglas school shooting

Thoughts on a Horror

I invite you to think about these things.

We live in a world where a person can walk into a school full of defenseless children and shoot, and shoot, and shoot. Without empathy, feeling only hate and power. Without regard for any code or consequence, God or man.

Rather than register shock and horror, then eagerly place that item on a back shelf marked: ABERRATION; let us acknowledge that we really do live in such a world.

But let us also notice that against that one evil act, we can counter with several acts which were its polar opposite. In fact, that evil act was countered with several (at least) selfless and noble acts.

A football coach shielded students from bullets with his body, and died. A geography teacher ushered students into his classroom for protection but never made it inside. A quick-thinking ROTC student protected 60 to 70 people from gunshots behind Kevlar. Another teacher hid 19 students in a closet. A janitor warned about 40 students that they were running toward the shooter, and ushered them into a safe classroom. A 15 year old held the door for fellow fleeing students but was shot dead.

In the face of that evil act, these people responded by trying to save the lives of other people at the expense of their own. That requires incredible empathy, other-centered-ness, and self-sacrifice.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends

It suggest belief that there is right and wrong, good and evil; that life is objectively valuable and better than death. And a belief that such horror and hate ought to be met with its opposite.

We live in that world too.

But we tend to live in the world of our mind’s making, the one in which we feel comfortable, the world as we imagine it. We might even secretly congratulate ourselves for choosing the world we do. I’m the kind of person who sees the world positively, so I’m a loving person. Or I see the world as tough and harsh, because I’m strong and a realist.

But those imaginary worlds don’t prepare us for the real one. It might be better to recognize the world we live in so that we can encounter it usefully. We can recognize that pure nihilism can cross our path, and we can choose to respond with selfless love.

That there will be more evil there is no doubt. Let us be prepared.

There are many other thoughts you may have on this matter. This was one.