Whenever the world is struck by a senseless act of violence such as hit Boston on Monday, I think of this quote from “The Two Towers”. Theoden voices my frustration well. We humans don’t do well with recklessness. We want things to make sense. Insanity is as hard to respond to as it is to understand.
The funny (funny-strange, not funny-haha) is that these kinds of actions simply don’t work. They don’t accomplish anything, unless one considers the waste of human lives an accomplishment. What will happen as a result of the Marathon bombing? Other than misery and mourning on the part of those affected, nothing. No cause was advanced. Neither Boston nor the nation was weakened as a result. More likely, both are stronger.
The Marathon will go on as always next year, just as a new tower will replace the World Trade Center destroyed on 9/11. Violence doesn’t work. Period. A single man committed to non-violence does more than all the car bombs, hijackings, and IED’s in history. We need look no further than Ghandi, Dr. King, or Jesus. They literally changed the world, upending power structures far greater than they were (on the surface).
All this violence we’ve witnessed has nothing to do with changing the world. It has everything to do with frustration – camouflaging impotence with a disguise of false power.
The people responsible for these activities are either mad (insane-mad and angry-mad), in which case there is nothing to do but track them down and put them in a position to do as little further damage to the world as possible, or they have a skewed world view that puts their own particular mission above the value of human life.
One could argue (and could win such an argument) that the latter position is tantamount to madness. However, these people, as deluded and misguided as they might be, have at least reasoned out their actions. They sincerely (but wrongly) believe that they can move the world to their point of view by killing innocent people. That approach has a long and well-established track record, even though it’s all failure. Given that thought process, there’s at least the slightest of chances they could be convinced of the foolishness of their actions. One of Jesus’s disciples was a terrorist, after all.
What can man do? Very little except help when possible, pray constantly, and love everyone. You never know when an act of love might defuse an act of hate. It’s the most powerful weapon in our arsenal.
Caveat: I’m just a guy venting. I don’t actually know anything except how I feel, so I’m telling you. To my mind, this is a much better way to vent frustration than killing people.