When I was an undergrad, I took a philosophy/logic class. On one of the professor’s first exams, he asked this question:
No one got the answer right.
As we went through the semester, the answer he was looking for became more clear. When the professor posed the question on the final exam, we all got it right.
The answer: Because
Many of us are still reeling over the events of Friday. Many are angry. Many are gut-wrenchingly sad. Many are asking “why?” What would make a person do such a heinous thing?
These are fair questions, but in the overall scheme of things, the concrete answers don’t matter, and more to the point, we will never know, since the only one who could provide the answers is no longer here.
So we are forced to live with the fact we will not get the answers we want. Notice I said want, not need. We already know what we need to know, we just aren’t willing to accept it.
We know 20 families are not tucking in little ones tonight.
We know 27 families are making funeral arrangements tonight.
We know several dozen parents are living with the agony of outliving their child
We know children have lost their parents.
We know too many people died on Friday.
We know all this, yet we still ask why.
Because there has always been craziness on the planet.
Because there has always been evil in this world.
Because it is human nature for a person in pain to strike out at others, to not only inflict pain, but as a desperate attempt to lesson his own.
I don’t know if Adam Lanza was crazy, evil, in pain or a combination of the above. What I do know is that we are wringing our hands and banging our heads against the wall, trying to figure the “whys,” when the answer is simple. Painfully simple:
Because he wanted to
Because he could
Because he did
The Great American Debates have already started. Both sides of the gun issue will be bantering back and forth for several weeks, both pointing fingers and sharing pearls of wisdom such as “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” and “If guns were banned, this would have never happened.” The religion debate will heat up, with school prayer being trotted out again (Yeah, I know, already happened.) Others, I’m sure, will find a way to make this tragedy work for their niche political agenda.
But if these are the only takeaways we get from this horrific event, then we’re doomed. Because even in our darkest hours, there are still rays of light and hope. Platform people can demand changes until they are blue, but those changes won’t make the crazy sane or the evil disappear. You can’t legislate it, you can’t will it out of existence, but no one wants to talk about what could be done about it.Sure people want change, but the proposals are cosmetic. (I’m avoiding the political aspects right now…)
So, the best we can do (for now) is realize that these things exist and live our lives knowing that at any given moment, crazy and evil can land on our doorstep. That does not mean we are to go trough our lives in fear. It actually means the opposite. We should embrace every day and everyone we care about. None of us knows when we will speak our final words to someone, kiss our last kiss or give our last hug to those we love.
Because none of us are promised a tomorrow.
Because bad things happen
Because we’re all human