It’s the 14th of June, 2017, and a man has shot several congressmen who were practicing at a baseball field, before being shot by the police and succumbing to his wounds.
As I tinkered about in the kitchen for breakfast, I caught snippets of this from the news that my landlords were watching in the next room. At some point the newsreader’s voice hushed as she spoke of someone’s critical injuries. For a few moments my imagination drew a pretend picture that it was the assailant she was talking about.
Shall we pause for a minute and imagine what our world would be like if that really were so? What would our public culture be like if news anchors spent a few moments mourning the passing of a fellow human, no matter what they had done? What if we held a deeply rooted culture of acknowledging the intrinsic value of human life, irrespective of our individual vices? Are you afraid that it would imply condoning their most vile act? Or would it be an admittance that however deplorable our darkest actions may be, circumstances and conditioning are often the true author of our misdeeds? Would it be a reiteration to steadfastly believe in the capacity for goodness in every human? Would it be a reminder that love and respect are the best ways to respond to the lowest human impulses and the darkest of tragedies?
I think I would like to try out such a world.