Saturday, July 21, 2012

Who is to blame?

By now everyone has heard about the tragedy in Colorado. A mad man methodically planned and murdered and injured fans in a crowded movie theater. The crime was so heinous that people are left wondering how and why someone could do something so evil.

The first thing that happens is we blame. We blame music, comic books, movies, television, the internet, the family - we do this searching for an answer.

I don't think we will ever find an acceptable answer for the tragedy, but I think it should give us all something to think about.

Today, we live in a constantly connected unconnected society. If there is a question, we google it or look in a chat room. We muddle through online communities for our answers. We now have the instant opportunity to exchange recipes with some nice lady in New Zealand instead of waiting weeks for a letter to come in the mail. 

As someone that snagged a great bbq pork recipe from someone in Canada, I'm not saying that this is wrong. I am saying that it has made us disconnected. We have lost that edge needed in dealing with people face to face.

Take bullying for example (and I am not implying the Colorado shooter was bullied). It used to be once a kid got home from school, they were safe. Now, bullied kids have text messages and websites and facebook pages set up to taunt them. There is no where to hide. People are now subjected to bullies entire continents away. It is very easy to dogpile a person that you will never see, and will never see you.

Bus monitor Karen Klein.
Take bus monitor Karen Klein. She was viciously bullied and taunted by a group of middle school kids. These kids unleashed a stream of profanity on the 68 year old grandmother, at one point threatening to stab and torture her. They told her to commit suicide, something that her son had done 10 years previously. The video, yes, video, because the kids taped it, went on for more than ten minutes. To make matters worse, these monsters put the video on youtube to further torment Klein.

But then something happened. The kids didn't get the reaction they were looking for. A guy in Canada, one man, decided he would do something. He wanted to raise $5,000 for Klein to go on a vacation. Since the makes about $15,000 a year, that would be an amazing trip.

Comments and funds streamed in from all 50 states and 83 countries. By the end of the campaign, over $700,000 was raised for Klein.


What does it mean? It means that there is still hope left for society, but it starts with each one of us. Maybe instead of hiding behind the computer monitor or smart phone screen, maybe step outside into that bright thing called sunlight and say hello to your neighbor.

Just a thought...


  1. What a thoughtful and wonderful post!!!! I think that if everyone were just NICE to each other, a lot of problems would be solved. Let a person in on the freeway. Hold the door for someone. And definitely get out and actually talk to real people in real life!!

  2. Very well done. A lesson to be learned for all. I am going to retweet and post this to my facebook page as well.

  3. Now that we're having a baby, I'm literally terrified to think of the fact that kids these days have to deal with ridicule all the time. I'm actually already thinking of ways of banning social media from my future sons life. I plan to teach him to be kind and to interact with people the old fashion way :)

    Ironic, considering how attached I am to social media. However, I use it for good. Well, at least not to be a bad person ;)