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Ugly Mornings (This is not about the outdoors)

April 19, 2013

“I want to see this guy and tortured and killed.”
I have seen people say this and make reference to people saying this, on this morning of the Boston Lockdown. Social media opens up so many connections and avenues, and you get to peruse so many thoughts and statements from people you do and don’t personally know. You get to read their moments of joy and grief, enlightenment and mundanity. You get a glimpse of their personalities, and you sometimes get to see the collective darkness of humanity, as though a dim grey fog is populating the computer screen while you scroll down the feed. It happens now and then, and It isn’t unwarranted. Things are tough for a lot of us right now. Unemployment. Sickness. Struggle. And on a morning like this, I see it, and clearly understand the weather that has brought it.
I remember a morning about eleven and a half years ago, one day in September. I was at my job at a music store in a mall in St. Louis, before all of this connectivity, and we were watching the American story change on the TV in front of us. It was a horrible day. Awful things had been done to people not deserving of it. Evil people had made decisions that resulted in the deaths of innocents that had nothing to do with the vengeance and anger and treachery involved. It should not have happened and it should never happen.
Panic. Horror. Anger.
“We need to go find the guys involved in this and make them pay.”
“We ought to let the victim’s families beat the shit out of these assholes when they catch them.”
“I hope they are caught alive so that they can be tortured and killed.”
I heard it that morning, and I have been seeing it this morning. We are an ugly creature and times like this bring out the worst in us.
And I can understand the feelings of people that are expressing this ugliness. It exists in me as well. I am an American, and a human too. I wish for things like this to never happen, but they still do. I pray for a world without mornings like this, but we still wake up to them. And I hate seeing people I don’t even know being harmed by the choices of evil men.
But not torture. And not anger. These are not the solution to problems like this. This ugliness in our nature is exactly the cause of mornings like this. Violence perpetuates and intensifies violence. Vengeance is destruction for destruction. It is a grand cycle of violent abuse that leads to nothing constructive. And in reality, it makes no one feel better, no matter how much you claim it will. It will always come back to the choice you made, and it will crush you in time.
I see the ugliness and understand it’s mechanics, and I know that no matter how much we sometimes want it to stop, we will never be free of it completely. We are a flawed reactionary animal that is imperfect in our nature, no matter what holy men tell you. We were given this chance to experience this reality as a blessing, and we weren’t given an Eden to dwell in so that life is kept interesting. So that the possibility for challenge and struggle allows us to keep from wasting this amazing fraction of a moment that we exist in the universe. So that we appreciate this “blink of an eye”. And for me, the goal of being here is about accepting my reality and searching for the path to get as close as we can to perfection, even though we will never completely reach it.
And I know that is God’s hope for us. That is what this Earth’s plan is for us. That is how the Universe needs us to live.
And until we can see that path and walk it, we are no better than the worst things in us.
So I thank the Creator and Jesus and Science and Order that cooler heads will prevail and that we have laws that create a humane structure to our reaction to such historical moments.  And I do pray that justice will be done.
And I ask you to capture this moment and remember it so that you can examine the hate you feel and your need for revenge. And I ask you to let it go. And pray for all people, including those who did this, that they will find peace in the arms of whatever spiritual or earthly thing you believe in. These souls are already tortured, and as many of them made awful decisions in life, so have we. And none of us are without ugliness.
Love all the people,
Gabe

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