But this much is true: While allegedly two people caused widespread chaos, destruction, violence, and suffering, untold hundreds, if not thousands, poured in to offer aid, comfort, care and kindness. It is not without its irony, that one suspect is now under medical care having been taken to a hospital by the law enforcement agencies and first responders who put themselves in harm's way in order to secure his capture. As far as we know, he wasn't beaten, terrorized, brutalized or mistreated in any other way. He is now being cared for by highly skilled nurses, doctors and specialists who must put aside any patriotic fervor nestled inside, and carry out their ethical responsibilities to the injured. Seeing a picture on the news of these courageous responders, hovering over their suspect, not in a fit of rage, but as an offering of assistance, was a stark reminder that while many people may have a hidden darkness within, most people allow goodness to reign. In fact, society is now in a discussion as how to best ensure this individual's "rights" are protected within our justice system.
This is why cilvil societies have triumphed for centuries now - people choosing goodness. Unconscionable behavior is likely never to be fully explained. Maybe it is a leftover function of evolution. Maybe it is a product of some dysfunctional aspect of culture. Maybe it is a genetic trait. Who knows? But, since the instinct of so many is to recoil in horror and sorrow in the face of such atrocities, and to respond with kindness and righteousness (even to the accused), then surely our society is on the right track. In the names and honor of those who lost their lives or who have been forever altered, let's be steadfast in our determination to move forward in a never-ending quest for a more loving, tolerant, understanding and civil society.
Be kind to yourself and to others.
© Copyright 2013 Douglas Layer, LMHC