Of The Day
But, sometimes not every day.
|The hardest thing for the human race to truly
and genuinely comprehend is that we are all in this together.
Your superiority holds hostage another's inferiority. Your elitism
is dependent on another's indigence and tribulation. Your cherished
hatreds and prejudices require others who are so unlike you that
they repel your senses. Your clique would be nothing without
those who you reject and ridicule. And, in the end, you are no
better and no worse than those who you feel are beneath you and
above you. In the end, we are the human race, rising and falling
together. Those who evaluate societies will tell you every time,
"Look at the outliers, look at the anomalies, look at the
young and the old, look at the outlaws and outcasts... there,
and there only, are your true indicators of the greatness or
infamy of your society."
So, the Trench Coat Mafia represent something in us, don't they? Perhaps it is the misguided revulsion of elitism and unfairness. Perhaps it is the embrace of violence as a means to an end. Both exist in us, don't they? Both are unresolved human dichotomies, aren't they? And, as the saying ironically predicts, "If you don't master error in the first instance, it will master you in the second." That is what happened in Littleton in a nutshell. That is human history in a nutshell.
Eric Harris and Dylan Kiebold could have been anybody, anywhere. They could be the boy who was rejected because of a deformed foot or back. They could have been a group of Serbians who were made to feel inferior and excluded, or a group of Kosovar Muslims forced to fight off bigotry, as they saw it. They could have been Lee Harvey Oswald being poked and shoved in a schoolyard by wealthier kids who laughed at his clothing. They could have been Nazi youth joining in a mounting sense of German superiority trying to please their parents.
And, in fact, the Erics and Dylans of this world have been all of these, and sadly, so many more.
Until we come to appreciate our differences and enjoy them, there will be more Erics and Dylans. Until we teach our beautiful daughters to love those who are less attractive, those who seem at first ugly, we will wander in the wilderness of narcissism and selfishness. Until we teach our athletic sons that their ability is linked to others who have far less or no ability, we will have deformed them and abused them with self-referential lives that will deaden and disappear with age. And until, we, their parents, practice inclusiveness and eschew those warm feelings of success and exclusiveness that come with wealth and maturity, and realize that our success, our power, if you will, truly comes only from the good we do, we are not really parents, we are just vicarious thieves who feed on our own young. We must come to see that Littleton is a true sign of the times that we have created. It is not fair to condemn Eric and Dylan without condemning ourselves, too. Because deep inside Littleton, Kosovo, Iraq, and all of the other places where evil seems to prosper, there is a truth waiting to come to light for all to see. We are all the same. None are better. None are worse. We are together. And we are what we are, it's always been up to us.
Nothing will be gained by rush to judge and condemn; that will only drive the nail deeper. The truth is we must face ourselves and deal with what we have wrought. The good news is that we can do it.