The Big Question

Why do some people want to injure or kill others?

In light of the bombings at the Boston Marathon last week, I thought it would be appropriate to take a moment to address the big question so many of us have when an incident involving mass terror, destruction, injury, and death occurs: Why?  I hate to admit it, but this is one “why” for which I don’t have any good answers.

I can’t understand why one person wants to intentionally harm another person, whether it’s with bombs, guns, knives, fists, or even words.  What does one get from such ill intent?  I can’t dream up anything positive or productive resulting; I can only imagine feelings of hatred.  When we build something, put something together, watch something grow, we are filled with positive energy, joy, and pride.  Destruction, on the other hand, fills us with negativity, emptiness.  And what comes out of destruction for either the victims or the perpetrators?  Absolutely nothing good.  The victims have lost lives, limbs, family, friends, a sense of security, and many other things.  Ironically, the perpetrators have lost similar things.

When Bostonians were in the streets cheering that the one remaining suspect had been caught by police, I could understand their relief, but I couldn’t feel elation.  By no means do I condone what the suspects have done.  However, there are no winners in this situation.  I think it’s tragic that several people have died and so many more have been injured, but I also think it’s sad that two young men with their lives ahead of them chose to do something so catastrophic.  Now one of those young men is dead and leaves behind a wife and daughter, while the other is charged and will likely face imprisonment and possibly the death penalty.  All lives are forever changed.

I know this is probably a very naive thing to say, but how can it be so difficult for people to just live and let live?  Wouldn’t it be so much easier for people to simply live their lives and get along with each other?  Isn’t it less taxing to do good than to do evil?  Why can’t some people just leave others in peace and let them go about their lives?

Why, indeed.

StopTheViolenceLogoMay the angels be with the people of Boston.


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