I could really use your help. Really. Like most of you, I have gone through a full spectrum of emotions over the last few days. Among other places, I have come to HH looking for…emotional support, understanding or insights that can help ease of the pain and shock.
In attempting to find solace, I have instead found comments that frankly have prodded greater angst than nothing at all. Some examples;
In response to a comment asking to show compassion for the driver of the vehicle that killed 3 people, I wrote this:
“I believe (HH commenter) is a decent person and sees the world through decent eyes. So, his natural reaction – since he has a conscience – is that this driver will "suffer" from the painful vision of the dead dancing through his conscience.
Unfortunately, there is a small but significant percentage of humanity that that has no conscience and no empathy for others. Remember Richard Spect? He murdered 5 nursing students in a most horrific manner. His conscience was so "troubled" he videotaped himself in prison having sex, doing drugs, and generally having a great time. On one of his bootleg videos, he was asked by his "partner" if he regretted the murders. His response? Well, I don’t want to repeat it here…not at this time, and not in this thread. I will only say that it was not consistent with a decent man with an empathetic soul.
And so it goes…people like (HH commenter) have the best of intentions. (HH commenter) means no harm, and in fact looks to "help" us and others. He represents the general legal – and sometimes moral – thinking of our times…these are really good souls that have somehow been led astray by their life circumstances (poverty, abuse, addiction, etc). Yes, they deserve punishment for their crimes, but they also deserve our compassion.
And the indecent, conscienceless souls – like Pol Pot, Cory Stayner, Mohamed Atta, Tim McVeigh, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Josef Goebbels, Saddam Hussein, and so many others whose own compassions extends only to the space they occupy – look at the decent in their midst and think, what fools, what cowardly stupid fools.
We seek compassion, they seek their pleasure. Hope you don’t get in their way.”
“There isn’t an inexhaustible supply of human qualities or values, and that includes compassion. If you spend compassion on Andrew Gallo, you have that much less to spend on others far more deserving.
Assuming you live in an urban/sub-urban area, I bet within a 5 mile radius of your home, I could find THOUSANDS of people far more deserving of compassion that are currently receiving NONE of your sympathies. And these are people that have paid their taxes, fought in wars, volunteered their services and generally carried the burdens society has placed upon them without complaining, whining, or asking for favors.
So you really want to show compassion? Volunteer some time at a senior center. Mentor a child struggling with their homework. Donate blood. Do you have any idea how low the blood banks are at this time? Make a donation to Habitat for Humanity. Help a friend through AA or Narcanon. And once you are done helping all of those within your 5 mile circle, if you still have compassion to spend on the likes of Andrew Gallo, go for it.”
In response to a comment that the driver will get what he deserves, my reply was;
"He will get what he deserves? Where? When? How? What earthly punishment can we possibly dispense that could ever make up for the lives destroyed or forever altered? A lifetime in jail will make up for what he has done? BULLSHIT.
10 years from now, this bastard will likely be pumping iron, eating 3 meals a day, laughing and joking with his other prison “homeys”, checking out girlie magazines, receiving conjugal visits, reading books, watching TV, and a whole host of other human activities. Meanwhile, Nick Adenhart and the other victims will be a fading memory of “what might have been”.
Please…don’t think for a moment we can dispense “justice”. We can’t even come close.
There is noting – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – we can administer to make-up for what he has taken. NOTHING.”
“Unbelievable. You just agreed above that there are “…thousands more deserving people…” all around us.
But you didn’t make a call to compassion for those thousands. Instead, you spent your efforts asking for compassion toward an individual far more deserving of contempt…and then people wonder why the world seems upside down.
I’m not surprised…this is the result of our “educational” system.
Your views will likely prevail…Andrew Gallo will likely be the recipient of compassion long before – if ever – it is dispensed to the deserving thousands.”
For those to whom the comments were directed, please forgive the tone. In retrospect, the words may have been overly aggressive, although I stand by the ideas.
I have no interest in embarrassing or ridiculing anyone.
There is no attempt here to pick a fight.
I hope I’m not crapping on anyone’s faith or beliefs.
The goal here is really simple…to understand and try to make sense of these senseless, devastating deaths because it is STILL painful and I cannot look at Nick's photo and think how sad, how wrong, how unnecessary.
There are many intelligent and thoughtful members of the HH community. Please, if you see holes in the logic of my comments above, write a comment! If you think I am missing something, respond! If you want to add a completely unrelated note than can be helpful to me and to others, share it with us!
I promise you I will be respectful of your arguments and thoughts in a search for some measure of common understanding, and in trying to answer the question, "What is the best reaction to these nightmarish events?"
Whatever you thoughts, may you find peace and comfort in your lives, "...with malice toward none, with charity toward all".