Praying my rosary inside the bus this evening, I was distracted with a news report about the recent death of a student inside a university. A few weeks ago, a student bully was pointed a gun at by the father of the boy who was bullied in school. And I thought to myself: What is happening to us? We’re no better than our early peers! What is happening to society? Have we simply no regard for human life?
Read the papers for the past few years. In recent years, you will find stories of lone madmen on a killing spree before committing (or attempting to commit) suicide – but not without a lot of bloodshed. Loss of life, loss of liberty. You simply become desensitized by all the violence. What is more striking in recent years are the profiles of these killers. Most of them were very normal people, coming from the middle class, were mild mannered and average students in school. The world has read about the Norway massacre of Anders Behring Breivik and the most recent Colorado shooting by John Holmes. Who was the bad guy in these shootings? Breivik and Holmes certainly didn’t think they were the bad guys.
Becoming the Hero by Killing the Bad Guys
In most free societies, we’ve been brought up to believe to pursue what we want to do with our life, regardless of whether the same is right or wrong, good or bad. In short, as long we’re happy with what we’re doing, then that’s fine. Parents can only do so much, and beyond personal freedom will be crossing the line. So if you want to be a hero by going after the villain, that’s ok. That’s fine.
But too much liberty without proper direction and guidance has a bad side. You tend to believe that what you’re doing is right, regardless of whether or not you are encroaching upon another person’s right. So you get disenchanted with the people around you to begin to think you’re a actually the hero going after the bad guys. With your money, you simply buy a gun and just kill any person in sight WITHOUT REMORSE. Is that still ok? What if this hero idea is only delusion and that YOU’RE actually the bad guy?
These are things we see in the movies, on TV, and hear in the music that we listen to. We kill life by promoting death. Blessed John Paul II coined it the “Culture of Death”. If there is any other indication that will show our blood lust, it’s watching the games that children play. What do we have? Carmageddon, Postal 2, Grand Theft Auto…. These are just some of the bloodiest videogames available on the market. The worst part is, even young children can play it under the premise of “fun”. Even I have had to wrestle my kid away from games like these, and only upon a very simplified but thorough explanation.
The Skinny on Death and Violence
Exposing one’s self early to an environment of violence and terror desensitizes one to the very core of existence: LIFE. To simply put, when you see violence every day, you think it’s ok until you think it’s cool and no longer scary. It becomes your day to day thing. So when a person actually dies from that violence, it’s like short of saying: “GAME OVER”!
And this is what’s happening in the world today. Without proper instruction, we begin to think killing is the way to go – the MEANS to an END – whether it’s inflicting it on another person or to yourself.
So Where Do We Put the Blame?
Everybody is, the parents, siblings, family, friends, school…. Everybody. We are all simply connected to create a chain of events that either promote or inhibit such behavior. Nobody wants to lead to give the right direction, but EVERYBODY wants to give space regardless of whether the action is right or wrong. We are becoming a society that has a lot of freedom but without the correct frame of mind. Without regard for life, DEATH is an easy score.
For parents everywhere, we should always remain vigilant in raising our children and explaining to our young what is good from evil, right and wrong. They will never know the difference if we never teach them the right way early on. Our children are our responsibility, first and foremost. And by teaching them what is right, maybe then we can remove the dark clouds hovering over us.