The events of last week in Boston and near Waco brought out the best and the worst in people. I have been musing almost continuously about how, or even if, I could write about it. I started this several times, but found myself getting angry, and that is not what I want to convey. There is a lesson to be learned.
Most of us were moved by the almost universal compassion exhibited by so many distant people. We expect that the victims as well as those related to the victims to exhibit unfathomable anguish. We have also come to expect that those who were left uninjured to jump into action rendering aid and comfort, but it is the genuine compassion that spews forth from all over the planet that never ceases to amaze me. The social sites of Facebook, Google+ and Twitter came alive with messages of support, concern, charity and love as well as a global source of unfiltered news and communication.
Unfortunately, the cyber community was not entirely in concert. I do understand the international aspect of these sites, and I know catastrophe is relative to proximity. I also know that some people do not deal well with emotional strife. I harbor no ill feelings for those who may not have known what was happening by the happenstance of location and continued posting in their normal fashion. Nor was I upset by those who acknowledged what was happening and continued posting with the announced purpose of self-distraction in lieu of emotional tumult.
It is the other example of disconnection that raised my ire. There was the local art gallery who unfortuitously scheduled a major meet-and-greet for the evening of the bombing but felt obligated to clog the public news-feed with endless pictures of their soirée. There was a character from the Southwest who decided that while people were being killed and maimed, it was the ideal time to share his new joke about the Pope. There were numerous postings promoting blogs, e-books, webinars and the like. I attempted to interact with a number of these people to let them know what was transpiring and why people’s attention was turned elsewhere at that time. The feedback was unconscionable. I heard everything from “There’s only three dead,” to “Yes, I know what’s happening, do you want to buy my book, I just lowered the price,” to “People die every day, why should we care about them?” I could go on, but I think you understand my angst. There are cretins among us; perhaps they are that missing link that evolutionists are always searching for, neither Neanderthal nor Modern Man.
There is a lesson to be learned from this: The size of your circles, your friends list, and your followers is not nearly as important and character of the people who populate them. Like diseased branches, I pruned the cancerous growths before they could spread their infection. I assume, depending on how widely read and shared this post becomes, I will have to endure another round of venomous, angry comments and replies. If so, I may have to do some additional pruning.
The vast majority of the readers for these somewhat regular entries on my blog are writers and bloggers themselves. Watch the comments posted on this blog and on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, decide on your own which are of the variety you wish to graft to your trunk and which are a canker in need of surgical intervention. The goal of every writer is to impart a modicum of insight in an entertaining manner. The authors exemplified here possess no insight I wish to know; they do not merit further attention. They may feel the same way about me, but I am comfortable with that.