I'm posting this here, because I don't know where else to put it. It's not a rant, just something I was thinking a lot about today and wanted to share.
I've started to noticed a trend that seems to be taking place in this country: a severe lack of reverence for existing human life. I say existing because I don't want anyone making the mistake of thinking that I am talking about abortion. I am not. I believe that a woman should have the right to choose, period. I'm not going to debate that with anybody.
The life I am speaking of is the life of people. That's important to distinguish, I think.
Anyway, it really hit me after having a couple of discussions at work this morning.
The first one involved football, since it is jersey day at work. I happen to be wearing one of my husband's Eagles jersies, so, naturally, Michael Vick came up in conversation. And, also quite naturally, how much everyone hates him came up in conversation. Because, after all, he's a remorseless, dog-killing SOB, right?
I'm sorry, but I disagree. Yeas, he killed dogs, on purpose, and he went to jail. But saying that is is remorseless is really unfair, in my opinion. He did everything the court expected of him. And then he turned his old mansion into a no-kill dog shelter, he regularly speaks to kids at schools around at least the state of PA about animal abuse, raises awareness and donates money. He's gone above and beyond what hte court ordered and seems to have matured quite a bit. Believe it or not, jail can change people!
Which is exactly why it is so strange to me that so many people hate him and that he is protested and spoken so poorly of by so many people so often.
Because then you have another football player like Dante Stallworth. He killed a person. It was an accident. He was drunk driving. But he is an educated adult and should have known why drunk driving is not okay. He did it anyway. So, accident or not, he is entirely responsible for the death of another human being. Like Vick, he was also very apologetic. He even paid for the funeral. He spent two years or so in jail and now he's playing football again. But he still killed someone.
No one said anything. I mean, not really. No protests, no words of hate. Nothing like what was/is done to Vick.
Am I the only person wondering why people act like what Michael Vick did is worse? Am I the only person bothered by this? I'm bothered not because my husband is a Philadelphia fan, but because it seems to me that people care more about animals than other people. Sure, both men did something entirely wrong, but why are animal lives rated above those of humans? The dogs didn't ask to be taken in and cared for, no, but no one asks to be killed in a drunk driving accident either.
Then we were discussing a poll that was recently sent to our inbox at work. It was a poll about the military and how Americans view certain things. Apparently, seven out of 10 people polled think that the sacrifices servicemembers make (i.e. spending years away from family, losing life, limb, eyesight, hearing and risking mental health) are "par for the course."
Take this as you will, but the way I see it, people in this country are becoming drastically unsympathetic of others. Considering the American economy, I can understand completely that is is difficult to feel bad for someone who has a job. I get that. What I don't understand is how people can treat injured/disabled/dead veterens and their family members with such a, "well, what did you expect?" impartial attitude.
All this led me to think of many a conversation I have had with other people in a deployed environment about the locals of the country we were in. Speaking mainly of insurgents and taliban and Al Qaida, there were some uneducated, unthinking people who lumped the entire country's inhabitants into these groups and said some rather ignorant things about how much longer their lives should last.
Why should I or anyone else assume that everyone in one country is evil? And why should I act as though our enemies are not people, not human beings, and do not have any friends or family who care about them? I mean, think about how the family of a service member who was killed in action is impacted. Wouldn't it be a bit dehumanizing to act as though the families and friends of our enemies are not impacted the same way when they are killed? Killing someone else is never something anyone should want to do. Protecting yourself, your family and your country -- those things are different than wanting to kill someone. I'm bothered by how seldom people make that distinction.
In my opinion, the lives of our fellow human beings should be treated with respect. With reverence. The apparent fact that this reverence seems to be disappearing in this country is nothing less than disturbing to me.
Fuck being nice. I'd rather be honest.