Sunday, November 15, 2009

Evil moves quickly...

I am sure everybody reading this has had a job that they have either deeply disliked or been on the receiving end of work place injustice.

The impact of this can deeply injure us. After all, many of us spend at least five days a week at our job. If a person has to put up with anything for 40 or 50 hours a week, it would be easy to let that overtake our lives.

Now, imagine the impact this would have if a person had to put up with a situation like this for years or decades. It is a position that none of us would like to experience.

Of course, some would argue that if somebody had to put up with something they genuinely hated, then they should just get another job. After all, life is too short to put up with a situation like that. This is easier said than done.

Unfortunately, the national unemployment rate is now 10.2 percent, and the rate has been above 10 percent in Tennessee for some time. It would simply be too risky to leave a job without having another job lined up. Jobs are scarce so people likely are forced to put up with circumstances they might not have a few years ago.

I thought of this following the mass shootings last week in Texas and Florida. One shooting was executed by a career military man at the base he worked at and the other was done by somebody at a place where he formerly worked.

In both cases there were deaths (13 in the case of the shootings in Texas) and multiple people wounded. The obvious question in both circumstances is: What causes a person to finally snap and decide to kill as many people as possible as a solution to his problem?

I wish I could write that the solution chosen by the shooters was uncommon. However, we all know that is not true. Just a couple of years ago, a killer went on a shooting spree at Virginia Tech that resulted in 32 deaths.

These stories are almost as common as the suicide bombers that we hear about in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the battle lines in the conflicts there are drawn more clearly. The events there are expected as a part of war. We do not see that here.

Still, I believe that the events we saw last week are also part of a war. It may not be a war that includes tanks, missiles, and planes, but it is still a war.

The war between good and evil is as powerful today as it was when the universe began. It is also a struggle that we all deal with on a daily basis. It is not always easy to do what is good. It is also tempting to give in and do what we know is wrong.

I would like to believe that both of last week's shooters wrestled long and hard with their decisions before following through with them. We will never know for sure if they did.

Even if we did know, it obviously would not reduce the evil they did. All that was accomplished in these situations is that evil 'won' and a lot of innocent, hard-working people went to their graves too soon.

Lives ended. Families shattered. More confusion and madness scarred our nation.

That pretty much sums up what happened. It is only a matter of time before we are confronted with another event like this.

If that is not a sobering thought, then I do not know what is.

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