We’re all recoiling in shock over the hideous events in Connecticut. There’s a world wide outpouring of grief and condolences on social media because it is all we can really do. Even a small digital expression of support is better than nothing. At the very least the families of the victims know that the thoughts and prayers of millions are with them. There is no doubt that this tragedy will dominate the airways over the coming weeks. We can only hope that it will lead to concrete changes in gun control in the USA. The fact that a clearly mentally unstable young man had access to fire arms is to me and most reasonable people unfathomable.
I’ve nothing much more to add to the discussion. Only that when news like this comes through it makes me ponder the human condition. How can people be so mind blowingly brilliant and so completely messed up at the same time? I’m flicking through the New Scientist, as I do when my poor frazzled brain can cope with it. Dadabulous subscribes so we receive around 60 pages crammed with human achievement every week. Take page 18 in this latest edition for example. We’re told that scientists in Italy are working on ways to regenerate cells in the adult human heart so that heart attack suffers can return to pristine health. Amazing. The column directly underneath describes how researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have devised a non invasive way of stimulating the brain so as to improve movement in people with spinal cord injuries. Jaw droppingly awesome stuff. The cover story is about how completely clean fuel is within our grasp using algae. Major players like General Electric, BP and Google are putting their money behind the technology. It seems that a carbon neutral utopia is knocking. We can’t we just answer the door and let it it?
Of course science is nothing without compassion but humans have that in spades. Within the Connecticut tragedy there are tales of remarkable bravery and selflessness. A music teacher saved the lives of 15 students by barricading them in a closet whilst the crazed gun man was outside demanding to be let in. Another teacher protected her class by hiding them in a bathroom and covering the door with a bookshelf. Whilst cowering inside she told each of the children that she loved them because she believed it may have been the last thing they would hear. Thanks to her actions the kids will go on to hear that again and again.
Just think of all the incredible things that have happened during our lifetime’s – internet, mobile phones, micro surgery, the Mars Rovers. Humans have done all this and yet we have Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Rwanda, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the sovereign debt crisis and now innocent children being gunned down at their primary school. Nothing can offset the this kind of loss but I need to believe in the good side of the human race – our bravery and our brilliance. I need to believe we can make things better and that the struggle will be worthwhile.
Do you believe there is hope for human kind?
I apologize for an uncharacteristically ponderous piece and promise to get back to my mickey taking self toot sweet.