Tuesday, April 17, 2007

With prayers for all at Virginia Tech

With a tragedy like yesterday's slaughter at Virginia Tech, it's hard not to want to write about it, yet I've really hesitated. The truly important things have been said much better than I could. My thoughts and prayers are with the friends, colleagues and families of those who were senselessly murdered and wounded.

My personal reaction though has frightened me though. Though saddened, I'm not shocked, I'm not appalled, I'm not even really angry. I just feel jaded that events like this no longer stun me. It feels like the real question isn't how or why does this happen, but when and where will it happen next. How did I come to be this way? Over thirty people are dead, most of them closer to childhood than true adulthood. Over 20 more are wounded. Here I sit, feeling like this is just one more tragic but not uncommon event of modern life.

I've always been a sensitive person, and here I sit almost numb. I should be outraged. I should be in tears, and instead, I feel empty, void. As a relatively self-aware person, I know that my recent personal tension has sapped some of my emotional energy, but I feel like there are cultural forces at work here too. Has our world gotten so horrible that this doesn't deserve a stronger gut reaction? We have to be strong and brave enough to feel the hurt a tragedy demands without letting it cripple us. Being numb is just inches away from being callous, and that must be avoided. Callous is really only half alive.

I don't know what to think, except I know that many people are truly hurting over this. The losses are huge, and I wish them peace and strength as they cope with the burden of continuing on. As for myself, I just know that it's time to pray.



Blogger Lisa :-] said...

We need to get the guns out of people's hands. Screw the NRA...

April 18, 2007 12:13 AM  
Blogger Virginia said...


We are bombarded with images of violence every day. Religious fanatics get bent out of shape when there is sex (or even just a lesbian kiss) on tv but there is unbelievable amounts of violence embedded in our entertainment and I rarely hear a peep from them over that.

The death toll in Iraq climbs and climbs and climbs with no end in site. Every day we are listening to the latest reports of bombings and death numbers (as I write this NPR is doing a story on Iraqi orphans). Many of us are horrified, absolutely horrified, that this is the result of our country's "leadership".

Gun advocates fight very very hard to say that the insane proliferation of guns is a good and natural and constitutionally perscribed. Their stupid mantra of "guns don't kill people, people kill people" if actually true would translate to mean that Americans are a thousand times more violent than any other people, as our gun death toll is insanely higher than other industrialized countries.

Violence is everywhere. Our society embraces it. Trophy hunting is nothing but killing animals for entertainment. Our leadership uses violence instead of diplomacy.

Numb? That's a reasonable reaction for a heart that is overrun with horrors.

Peace, Virginia

April 18, 2007 6:03 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

I'd had a similar thought a couple of times over the last couple of days. I think I've passed the border between numb and callous. I'm not at all happy about that.

I need to think about how to retreat back across the border.

April 18, 2007 7:56 PM  
Blogger emmapeelDallas said...

My reaction has been similar to yours, I've felt more numb than anything else. But tonight (Saturday night) I watched a few minutes profiling the lives of some of the victims...and sadness washed over me, and I had to turn it off. What a world we live in.


April 22, 2007 1:43 AM  

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