Monday, July 15, 2013

What is Lost

     I don’t just do things I am later ashamed of, I think things too that later on I wish I hadn’t. Maybe I’m not the only person like this, but this is my blog and it’s about what I’m thinking about.
     People are dying. I can’t help thinking that every time someone dies, at least one person is devastated. At least one.
I’ve read the local news, young men were killed. One was shot by police after they say he fought with them and either produced a gun or went for one of theirs. In a different story, a young man was killed crashing the speeding car he stole into a street sweeper. When the names of these men were released I went ahead and looked at Facebook. There they were. One profile had anguished messages mourning the death. Another profile had posts by the deceased man, mostly expressing his dislike for things.
     And right there on the news stories are posts by people talking about “Darwinism in action” or “thinning the herd”. People are pleased there is one less car thief on the road. Posts are claiming that if someone tries to shoot a policeman then it should be no surprise that he’s gunned down on the street, even if it is in front of a church.
Also in the news, this past week there were victory celebrations and angry protests when the Texas State Supreme Court put considerable restrictions on clinics performing abortions. Well, good, maybe there will be more life there to make up for the loss, right? Pro-life advocates are hoping less babies die I’m sure. While those opposed to the abortion restrictions see it as a blow to woman’s rights, even human rights, oppressively controlling what a woman is allowed to do with her body.
There are some things I believe are wrong that I just kind of have to let go. Abortion is not one of them. I just think it’s the killing of a child. But I listen to the arguments for abortion and hear that people are scared. What would happen if all of these children were born to single moms, extreme poverty and hunger, or broken families where they did not learn love? What would happen then if they failed to learn boundaries or respect? Would they be the ones stealing cars and killing themselves before their 21st birthday?
When I saw each of these local news stories where two young men were killed because of their bad choices, I felt indifference. And then that apathy turned into the same feeling that others had when they posted comments on the news pages.
Hey stupid, what did you think would happen when you tried to take a policeman down? Oh, yeah, I’ve had stuff stolen from me before and my friends have had cars stolen. So what were you thinking when you boosted the Honda and took off? What did you think would happen when you ran the stop sign?
Yeah, I was thinking stuff like that. And now I am ashamed for thinking that way. Later I thought about all the babies who might live because of the new abortion restrictions. I don’t know how much socio-economic status has anything to do with anything. But if babies will be born that wouldn’t have before, they already might have a strike against them. Whatever culture or family they grow up in, will they too someday be looking a crackpipe passed to them for the first time?
Maybe I’m assuming too much. But it’s what I’m thinking about. And something else I realized about two young men who died. Their moms seemed to choose to allow to live. Someone wanted them and someone is grieving that they don’t have them anymore.
And now as I write this, in Florida people are polarized again about the shooting and killing of a young man. Regardless of what the law says, regardless of who was wrong or right and who was a punk and who was an asshole, there is one thing that can’t be denied. Someone died. People are grieving a loss.
When someone dies, people hurt. They say that’s even true for mothers having an abortion. I don’t know. But if there is a chance at life, can we keep it? Too many young people are killed already.

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