Thursday, August 04, 2011

I guess there's just a meanness in this world

I know that there are at least two sides to every story and that, usually, even the most unfathomable circumstances can be explained. As Mr. Holmes said, "Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth." Even so, I will never understand how one human being can inflect pain and injury on another without a real and true reason.

Believe me, I understand justice and I believe in it.

I have a friend who was attacked recently and beaten badly. He was blindsided - the victim of a coward who had only one goal - to do him harm. As I said up top, there may or may not be a reason that drove this madman to commit this crime, but one thing is certain - my friend did nothing to deserve this.

What is that allows a person to leave all reason behind and commit such a senseless act? Is it a chemical imbalance or some sort of bad wiring? Is it simply a lack of understanding of right vs wrong? Is society or his parents to blame? Or is it as Bruce Springsteen sings in "Nebraska" that "there's just a meanness in this world?"

I'm stumped. In the past few weeks, for whatever reason, bad news has affected me in ways that it hasn't before. It's just the sad truth that there is always a sad story in the paper and while they often caused me to pause and consider the family and friends of these unfortunate individuals, lately they linger longer in my thoughts. The nine-year-old boy lured into a car by a stranger. The insanity in Norway. A purse snatching in my hometown just a few blocks from my house. All strangers, but I kept imagining myself or my family in their place. It was if if there was a ever tightening circle of evil that was surrounding us.

Now I've seen it, if not first-hand very, very up close and it has chilled me to the bone.

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