One of the most common
statements in recent times is "life isn't fair
." We've all heard this from our parent
s when we didn't get what we wanted, from teachers when we received a bad
grade on a test(i.e. SAT
) or paper, or from other people when similar "unfair
" things happened such as our bike was stolen
, someone in our family fell ill or we broke up with a boyfriend
. Life may also be described with other such adjectives as "crazy
," "precious" and "enigmatic." I'll explain what I mean in more detail shortly. First, however, let's take a closer look at this thing called "life
Life is the most precious thing there is; The appreciation of it is what distinguishes us from the other "lower" animals and plants on this planet. Human beings pass their genes onto their offspring to ensure that life goes on.
Though we may be different physically, mentally or spiritually, we are all tied together by the basic fact that our lives will one day come to an end. One of the first traits of civilized humankind was the importance it placed over death and how essential it was to preserve life to be as long and fruitful as possible.
But no matter how hard we try, that mortality is always hanging over our ignorant and most times, naïve heads. We cannot overcome it, and though we may see ourselves in an ever-increasing God-like role in relation to the forces of nature, we are still simply pawns for the Grim Reaper to do with as he wishes.
Santana High School in Santee, California became yet another scene of nihilistic, mind-bending teen violence. Ever since the Columbine massacre, I have been trying to find explanations to the illogical antics of what occurred that fateful April day. But I have almost always come up dry, with only a large number of theories and sociological questions that can never really be proven or answered.
The suspect, Charles Andrew Williams, was 15 years old. He opened fire in a boys' restroom with a .22 caliber revolver and reloaded at least twice before killing two fellow students and injuring 13 others, including a campus security guard. He was apprehended and will face murder charges as an adult.
Perhaps the most disturbing detail to come out of this latest school shooting, even more so than the fact that two people lost their lives, is that as he fired away at fellow human beings, he was smiling proudly and euphorically as if the weapon he held in his hands was the symbol of years of adolescent rage and pent-up sexual, aggressive energy, finally releasing itself in one burst of stupefied hate after another.
Columbine also had a similar sinister incident of almost unbelievable proportions when the two killers asked a young girl if she believed in God and when she defied all odds and answered proudly "yes," she was executed without hesitation.
"What can be achieved by talking about any of this," you might ask? The more conservative, sentimental, overly dramatic or even squeamish of readers may criticize discussing such gruesome events as recent school shootings as being in bad taste. I know, I know, the "media" blows things out of proportion and may be partly responsible for these murderous rampages because it is comprised of camera-flashing monsters that give the trigger-happy monsters the 15 minutes they so desperately desire. Yet if we sweep these incidents under the proverbial carpet and try to forget that they ever happened, no solutions will be brought about and future generations will never know that such things can and do happen. Though it may be said that ignorance is bliss, if we do not know the past, we will be doomed to repeat it.
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the perpetrators of the worst school shooting in American history, are two names that will hopefully forever be etched in the annals of human history alongside the likes of Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson, so that no one will ever forget the atrocities they committed that one faithful day (which was actually Hitler's birthday).
This latest incident should also never be forgotten.
I say this not because Charles Andrew Williams, The alleged perpetrator, deserved the fame that seemed to have so desperately fueled his rampages, but so that we can place a face and identity with these horrid events and thus make them real.
No one forgets the names of John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman, or Lee Harvey Oswald's infamous role in the Kennedy assassination. Because the details of those two events are so real and vivid, they will never be forgotten for hope that history will not repeat itself out of sheer ignorance.
"Life isn't fair."
No, it is not. It simply wasn't fair that anyone had to be shot at while preparing for mathematics or chemistry class . Out of such madness, only one thing can truly be known.
Life is precious.
It is such a precious thing because anything can happen at any time that may end it. Lately, no matter where or how hard we look, human beings pop out of the woodwork and commit unthinkable atrocities.
The Santana H.S. incident is the latest in a long string of nihilistic, unprovoked murders.
Unprovoked, of course, unless we consider the years of psychological abuse endured by these kids in our terribly unsupervised public educational system and the downfall of any form of a structured and loving family environment.
Why do these things keep happening? Well, trying to find a concise answer to that question would require much more than a 1,000-word editorial. All that can truly be said here is that in this day and age, more than ever, we need to embrace life as a fragile thing that must be appreciated every waking moment that it lasts. After reading this, go out and embrace your loved ones and do not be afraid to tell them that you love them.
Do not live exclusively for the future, but take time to enjoy the world around you and whatever it is that makes you happy.
As human beings, one of our greatest assets is the ability to analyze, investigate, and learn.
However, no matter how much we analyze or investigate events such as the senseless school shootings that seem to be growing at an unprecedented rate in this great country of ours, we may never truly know why such things occur.
The only thing we can really do is remember them and learn from the mistakes that were made to set these young people off the mindset of a healthy, functional human being, and somewhere along the way transformed them into ruthless killing machines.