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I was just reading a friend's post about getting shot in the butt by a drive-by, and I burst into a big crying jag. At first I couldn't figure out why that would bother me so much; he was okay afterward, and it even inspired him to stop carrying a gun, himself.

I realize what whacked me was thinking of how people treat each other: a delayed response to what happened 10 years ago on Sunday and all the other ways that people hurt and destroy one another. Sometimes we can ignore the bad news on the radio, sometimes we can forget the inhumanity of humankind to others, but we don't really stop caring, the pain and disillusionment doesn't stop building. We hear stories about inhumanity like those assholes in the Republican debate audience who laughed at the death of the uninsured, or what the Palestinians and Israelis are doing to one another, or the Syrians, or the Afghans; we hear about violent robberies, we suffer our own small but devastating personal tragedies, we encounter any of a million other conflicts big and small that blaze around the world every single day. And, usually, we're able to distance ourselves from those things, resist getting too emotional about them.

But the pain is still there, bubbling under the surface, and once in a while one little thing is enough to open a crack, and the pressure is released in a great flood of tears.

I love this horrible and wonderful species, but sometimes it breaks my heart.

Chris

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
m_danson
Sep. 14th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
mckitterick
Sep. 14th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)
Those are beautiful and wonderful, thank you!
carmy_w
Sep. 14th, 2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
Agreed, and my sympathy.
(and the wonderful politicking going on right now is just the icing on the cake!)
mckitterick
Sep. 14th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
No kidding. Two-party politics brings out the best in people. Oh, wait, I meant another word.
weaselmom
Sep. 14th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
Wait, what was this about Republicans laughing?
mckitterick
Sep. 14th, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC)
Here's video from the debate that shows the event.

And here's a moving response from someone who lost an uninsured brother.
bogwitch64
Sep. 14th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
It breaks our hearts, yes, but humanity can also lift us so high, we can't see the ground anymore.

Just yesterday, I clicked on a link from a friend about the water evacuation of Manhattan on 9/11. Every tugboat, coast guard, ferry, circle line, yachts, small vessels--they swarmed the river. They carried people out of the city. Something like 500 thousand people in nine hours. It made my skin tingle and my nose sting just thinking about how heroic, how genuinely good human beings can be.
Here it is, if you're interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDOrzF7B2Kg&feature=related
mckitterick
Sep. 15th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
That is such a powerful video - it made me cry and cry, here in my book-filled office, thinking of how the first thing those people considered was not how to save themselves but how to help others.

That truly reveals the good that human beings can be. Thank you.
bogwitch64
Sep. 15th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
When the bad is so heavy, the good has to be that much more uplifting. XX
mckitterick
Sep. 15th, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)
Yes.

It's kind of sad that people don't usually show what they're capable of except at the worst of times, but it's wonderful that they do then, when it's most needed.
ericreynolds
Sep. 16th, 2011 12:22 am (UTC)
It's amazing that we instinctively do the right thing sometimes. If only we could do something about the instincts that long ago helped us survive, but now just divide us. It's gotten to the point that it's more important to follow the lead of what your group is doing about something even if it goes against compelling evidence to the contrary.
mckitterick
Sep. 16th, 2011 01:41 am (UTC)
Eric, you're right, sadly. Our civilization has evolved so much faster than our species has. *sigh*
(Deleted comment)
curieuse
Sep. 14th, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
Here's another vote that some humans are good to one another (disregard the godvine link and DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS):

http://www.godvine.com/Autistic-Man-Singing-National-Anthem-Gets-Some-Help-407.html
mckitterick
Sep. 15th, 2011 12:15 am (UTC)
That's so sweet! I'm sure everyone could feel his discomfort when it started getting to be a problem, and then suddenly he was leading a giant chorus.
silverfae
Sep. 15th, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
Did you see the group of folks that lifted the burning car over and pulled out the motorcyclist trapped underneath?

Faith in humanity restored indeed. Arian posted it on his FB page.
mckitterick
Sep. 15th, 2011 07:24 am (UTC)
Yes, I heard about that - wonderful!
pointoforigin
Sep. 15th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
Aw--you have a great big heart, and it shows. It shows in your writing, too. Like in Transcendence, which was a huge creative effort to show the pain and the beauty, and to wake people up to the fact that it doesn't have to be this way--even without an alien artifact to help. You really put your heart into that, and anyone who reads it with open eyes is going to see that. When your heart cracks, remember what Leonard Cohen said: "There's a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."
mckitterick
Sep. 15th, 2011 07:29 am (UTC)
It really means a lot to me to hear this, and the Cohen quote is perfect, isn't it?

Thank you.
siro_gravity
Sep. 15th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
oh!!! a dude who cries for the right reasons = LOVE!!!!

seriously, though, i know what you mean and i get the same feelings of despair for what we are capable of.

i think that people have an amazing capacity for cruelty and also an amazing capacity for kindness and decency. it's just that the cruel things we see hit us upside the head harder than the solace we get from the good.

mckitterick
Sep. 15th, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
I agree that people can be both things - in fact, that's a lot of what my next novel is all about, this duality of concern and despicable.

I think this is why it's easier to cry at the happy things, the bittersweet things, than those are are just horrible: We expect and hear about the horrible things all the time, so when we get the unexpected delight, it's hard to bear.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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