I, like many, had another post I was going to put up today, but in light of this week’s events, I’m afraid it would be inappropriate to not be aware. First and foremost, my heart goes out to each and every individual involved in the Las Vegas shooting. No one should ever have to experience such a reprehensible action while they are trying to be with friends and family at a joyful event. No one should ever have to deal with that kind of carnage, and horrific and senseless loss in the middle of fun and relaxation. There are no words…
I believe there is such a thing as true evil when it comes to actions. I believe that an act, by itself, can be a representation of said evil and the consequences will unfortunately, live on in the soul of the perpetrator and the souls of the victims. And please know, I do not condone one thing about this. It is one thing to be so angry or in so much pain that you wish to harm yourself. It is quite another to be so selfish as to take innocents with you into your pain. This is what the Las Vegas shooter did. I will not use his name because he does not really deserve to be recognized or remembered. His final act negated any good that might have occurred in his life and I don’t believe we should remember the perpetrators, only the victims.
I do want to posit this idea however. And it may not be popular. Someone, somewhere had to have noticed something was wrong. Each person, on their own, is usually not evil. Each person comes equipped with the ideas of choice and while his choice was absolutely the wrong one, what might have happened if someone could have seen his anger and pain and reached out to him?
Again, I am not saying that anything about his choices or actions was correct. But every time one of these shootings occurs, there are family members who will say they don’t understand and never saw this coming, but there are others around the perpetrator who will say, something was off. Something, even if it was only in the last few days, weeks, or months, just didn’t sit right and yet, people ignored their intuition.
What would have happened if someone had listened to their inner ear and reached out to this man, to a lonely misunderstood teen in Sandy Hook, to someone else who commits such evil acts? Might a tragedy of this proportion, been averted? I don’t know, maybe not. Maybe this man was too twisted up inside for help. Maybe his road was fated and already mapped. Maybe this was inevitable.
But do we really want to live our lives in the kind of world that says we can control none of our actions and we can’t help anyone around us? Those on the ground who worked to help victims or even gave their lives for others, would put this notion to shame. They took a horrible event and showed the best of humanity by giving of their time, bodies, and hearts to help those around them. They showed that more often than not, people rise up to the occasion and show how good we can be to each other.
Of course, it was a time of tragedy and tumult. It was a matter of split second decisions and knee jerk reactions for some. We often talk ourselves out of these thoughts of helping when there is not an immediate threat. I’m not dismissing or belittling any sacrifice made. They are all, of the highest and most blessed order in the role of humanity. I’m merely suggesting, it is sometimes harder to work with the more ambiguous examples of need this shooter may have exhibited along the way.
We may find out there is no known reason for his actions. We may never understand what was going through his mind. We may always be at a loss for the senselessness of his last act. His soul, if you believe in such, is marked. But what if we find out someone could have helped him?
Please note. I am not absolving this man of anything. He was responsible for his actions completely. He made his choices and he caused the pain. But what a glorious idea to believe that one day, in whatever afterlife you might believe in, you find out that your good action might have helped prevent another’s tragedy. We are never really aware of the scope of our influence. Why not find ways to work for that scope to be for good?
Who could you help today? Do you believe the extra word of kindness, the touch of another, the reaching out to someone who is hurting can help alleviate some of the pain in our world? As someone who hopes to have a modicum of control in my life, at least over my own actions, I hope my efforts at reaching others and being thoughtful might make a small difference somewhere. Here’s to the differences we all can make. Here’s to the difference every person who gave in Las Vegas made. Please know it will not be forgotten.