My heart aches right now for the entire Virginia Tech community. I have been worried about friends and family, concerned and distraught at each news story that indicates the story is worse than we knew before, grieving and mourning for those lost and those left behind. Those are all appropriate in this situation.
However, the most shocking emotion I have felt today is shock and disgust at the crass nature with which this story has been treated by people from the paid media to bloggers to message boards. That is not something I expected to deal with in this time.
In life, there are seasons and a time for all things, we are told. A time to enjoy great victory and a time to mourn and grieve great loss. Unfortunately, our society, for some reason, has become one that doesn’t allow for this space of time to occur. We are in too much hurry to get on with it, dissect whatever it is and move on. Maybe it’s the 24-hour news cycle, maybe it’s the constant connectivity that makes all things now, I really don’t know, and frankly, don’t care right now.
What I do know is that spaces of time are necessary in life. You don’t get to fast forward to the conclusion of the situation.
One good example recently was the Billy Donovan to University of Kentucky story. Everyone was in a hurry to say that Donovan was definitely going to UK after the Final Four (and eventual championship) was over. In the post-game interview of the national championship game with the floor still sweaty from the game, the questions were peppered at Donovan as to whether he was going to UK or not. I loved his answer….I want to just live in this moment, right now, I’ll worry about that later. For now, I am going to enjoy this.
Is it too much to ask to let people breathe and just be? Can we allow people space to mourn and grieve or even enjoy great triumph without comment? Must we dissect every detail of an event even while it is still occuring? While I am shocked and question why anyone would find a reason to shoot at least 32 people dead, at the same time, I question a society that wants to insert politics or humor or anything except condolence and sympathy for the families involved on the very day such a tragedy occurs. Indeed, the falcon can not hear the falconer.