Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Whispers of Home

"Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend's success."

~Oscar Wilde

As a warning, this entry is probably not worth reading. Thoughts to page, not a shred of filter. Most likely this will offend someone. Most likely it will make someone else laugh. Most likely it is crap all the way around.

Last week I lost my driver's license. It was gone, without any trace or hint of what might have happened to it. I had set my mind to the task of replacing it, because it had fallen into a void where things go once lost. It rarely happens to me; I put extra effort into being careful not to lose things, especially important personal things, and as a result this small, insignificant event disturbed me. That fact alone should probably be disturbing.

I do not generally have much faith in people--much faith that people will do the "right" or "good" thing by another person, especially if no one is looking or paying attention. What I generally see in my day to day existence is a species of being that will gladly step all over and poison its neighbor if 1) This will benefit their own position and 2) They can get away with it. By and large, number 2 seems to be an important driver of daily human choice--will I get away with this?

I assumed my license was gone and that I just should replace it. Instead I received a plain envelope in the mail, yesterday, with a simple note folded around--you guessed it--my license. Some person had kindly mailed it to the address on the license (which thankfully was current) and put a note. There was no name. No return address. Nothing but where they found it, and the license. I smiled from ear to ear when I opened the envelope, feeling quite sure I knew what was inside. I wasnt smiling because I had my license back and it meant less effort for me, that thought had not yet occurred to me.

I smiled because I had never been so happy to be proven wrong.

Earlier that day, yesterday, a woman was shot to death at the University of Washington where I am a graduate student, in a nearby building. Then the man who shot her shot himself. What, then, was the point of ending her life, if all he intended to do at that point was end his own? Logic does not even become a factor in this type of equation, however I just cant help but wonder what drives a person to make a choice like this. I would assume you would kill someone because you dont want them around anymore. So then what would be the point of killing yourself? I suppose I do not need to ponder or know these things, but I cant help but consider it. I spent much of the rest of the day after hearing about this tragedy contemplating my lack of personal safety no matter where I was, as a result of how ruthless, selfish, uncaring and immoral human beings are.

At any moment we really do not know what could or will happen, or when our last breath will be. We do not know any more than right here, right now. And another person can and does have the power to end it all whenever they want. I felt helpless thinking about having to survive among a whole earth teeming with people.

And then I got my license in the mail.

When my head stops swimming I will write something worth reading.

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