God did not create evil. Just as darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of God.
Murder, abuse, perversion, corruption, neglect, apathy. After 13-years of reporting the news, I had my fill. Now, I read the paper and try to avoid TV so I can pick and choose the attention I give to the world’s events. But even on vacation this week, some tragedies are inescapable. Waking up to the news of the Colorado movie theater massacre is beyond disturbing. This as the search continues for two missing girls in Iowa and the surveillance video of the kidnapping attempt in Philadelphia.
I have always believed that we mentally invite experiences into our life, sort of a hybrid between karma and lessons we need to learn. When something bad happens to me or my family, I always look inwardly and ask why. Except that philosophy doesn’t begin to address the horrifying news cycles replaying on a continuous loop. Maybe my philosophy gave some false sense of security to cope with the universal loss that we all witness. It made me feel like I had some choice in my fate.
The only choice those folks shared last night in Aurora, Colorado was to go and see a blockbuster summer movie. What about the folks who were in the grocery store with Congresswoman Gifford in Tucson? The teens attending classes at Columbine High School? The college classmates at Virginia Tech? The daycare toddlers inside the Murrow Federal Building in Oklahoma City?
Now, they are showing the first picture of the shooting suspect. He is smiling. That explains it. He is a 24-year old neuroscience Phd student. Oh, that makes sense. He was reportedly calm when he was captured. Of course. Evil can not be explained any more than it can be prevented and that is terrifying.
I find some comfort in thinking about all the mothers who were welcoming babies into the world at the same time a gunman walked into a sold-out movie theater. I think about all the new ideas and collaboration and achievements that did not get worldwide recognition on July 20th, 2012. But they happened none the less.
What beliefs help you feel less vulnerable and comforted?