Wednesday, December 19, 2012
A brief thought on tragedy
Last week's school shooting in Connecticut was horrific - no sane person could think otherwise - and I can't even begin to imagine the pain the families of the dead are feeling. And yet, every time there is a school shooting or other mass tragedy in this country, every time the death of one celebrity or beautiful person obsesses the nation, I can't help but wonder why we do not feel the same pain for all the hundreds of people - many of them children - who die every day of wars, starvation and disease around the world. The media has spent countless hours discussing the shooting and what can be done to prevent such horrors in the future; every single NPR show I listen to (well, not Car Talk) has had stories on the victims, or gun control, or mental illness. I hope that all this attention makes a difference this time, that changes to the national consciousness regarding guns and violence are permanent. But what would happen if we spent that energy and compassion on improving society without a tragedy? If we tried to make the world better before we go through so much pain?