Here I am in the United States, in the City Different, where I discover a bug helplessly afloat in my pet's water bowl. While I try not to hurt a fly, people go about harming other people, strangers, with unimaginable cruelty. While I empty the bowl carefully so as to help that bug get back on it's feet, others seem to want to tear others down and apart, living/feeling people just like themselves. I just don't get it. What happened to empathy?
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 19 year old immigrant was well liked and seemingly well integrated and old enough to make and stand by his own decisions, not just follow and obey an admired older brother. He reminds me of an Easter European introvert, sensitive 17 year old buddy I had in school. In fact Dzhokhar reminds me of being a teen, feeling rebellious, protesting the system, feeling alienated and searching for a way of being in a world not of my choosing.
Of course I tried dope, some drugs, it was the seventies, which were for us the American sixties. I happened to not like drugs and happened to have a horror of the idea of getting hooked on drugs, knowing myself all too well, my inability to leave a piece of chocolate alone when in reach, I avoided altered states induced by external means and instead sought out creative means for experiencing heightened states of consciousness and aliveness. Creative self expression did that for me. Crying over paint, moving to the rhythm of my heart, giving a voice to my feelings in extemporaneous expressions did that for me. Once I found ground to stand and rely on, I was home free, I found myself and my power and was finally able to own my experiences, something no one would ever be able to take from me.
What allows one man to take away the life of another man? Life is so wondrous and mysterious and multi-faceted, what, but arrogance and utter disrespect allow one human to deprive another human of a chance at setting things right, a chance at fulfillment, or at the very least redemption? No doubt Dzhokhar, not old enough to enter a bar legally in the US, will face the death penalty and no doubt many will scream bloody murder with their thirst for revenge.
Radicalization must have become easier yet through the internet. Do some of us mistake extremism with passion? Do some choose terrorism in an attempt to make their lives meaningful when they feel alienated, unloved and uncertain about their place in their world, when they have no ground to stand on? What personal tragedies may prompt those insane acts against humanities from apparently sane individuals? Are we all just living on a continuum of relative sanity to total, out craziness?
There is a line that should not be crossed, the taking of human lives, be it by individuals or institutions, that is, has been, and will be my position. Life and death are sacred and ought to be revered, given great care and consideration. What prompts a seemingly sane individual to cross those lines? I just don't get it.