The Pain from Tucson
Published in the Brattleboro Reformer, January 21, 2011.
The killings in Tucson have awakened fear and confusion and pain (and even guilt) in many people. Here I focus only on the pain. Perhaps the deepest pain has come from the story of the nine year old girl. I would guess that most people who have seen interviews with her parents and her friends feel upset that this little girl has died. People who are not particularly interested in their feelings may not know they are in pain. Others may have noticed the pain within themselves but decided not to focus on it, because "What's the point: It's just one of those situations where we suffer, and there's nothing we can do about it. This is how life is. We're grown-ups, not naïve kids or neurotics, and we go on with our lives. Even more, 'We didn't know her personally.'"
Longer observation (3): "Why do Good People Suffer?" or "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
Short idea (133): If a person's goal is power, then winning feels good (even if he or she is seriously wounded in the process). However, if a person's goal is to be good, then winning will feel bad (as well as good), because it brings with it responsibilities (that is, responsibilities to the ones who have lost to you).
Short idea (150): Following his quadruple bypass heart surgery, former president, Bill Clinton, was interviewed by Diane Sawyer on October 28, 2004 for her program, Primetime Live. President Clinton spoke about his changed values with respect to the political "game," and he added, "I thought, you know, you've been given an unknown but substantial amount of extra time. And you should give it back. So, that's what I'm going to try to do.” On the one hand, it is nice that he has had some sort of conversion to wanting to devote his life to helping people. On the other hand, it would be nice to think of all presidents, including him, as being devoted to this during their presidencies.