The events on the Virginia Tech campus are shocking, unreal. Since I heard of the events, I've been pondering about it. I've been thinking alot about what this can mean for me. I don't know any of the students, professors, or staff at VT. So many people have been affected by this tragedy beyond just the campus and the families. I've been thinking about the Emergency workers, Nurses, Paramedics, Physicians, etc… Local residents…the staff of the University, but thta doesn't seem to be enough for me.
But, I keeping going back to the perpetrator, Cho. I've had feelings of sadness, alienation, anger, resentment and rage in my life. Even with all that, I've never wanted to hurt random people, or even known persons. I can not imagine the emotional pain that this young man. I just can not imagine what hurts he experienced, real or percieved that could lead him to such actions. Clearly, he was mentally unstable, as well as very deeply troubled, sad, and lonely. I'm very surprised and a bit concerned that there is absoloutely no one coming forward who knew this young man, or considered him a friend. I'm sure in the VT environment, many people tried to be his friend, one professor even attempted ot help him seek counseling. I'm sure being a friend to a desperately troubled person would be quite difficult, and most people wouldn't, and obviously didn't bother to try. I think if I had met him, I would have been fairly abrupt as I have little tolerance for this sort of darkness.
But, I'm actually quite concerned that this will occur again. (It seems to be just escalating since Columbine) So, I think the answer at least for me, is to actually take more time to pay attention to those around me. Not just those that I know and love, but those that are new in my evironment, those that I initially may not like, or respect. Will it be easy? Probably not. I imagine some days I'll forget about this…but we all have had an experience where an unexpected kind statement or act has changed our perspective. There is always someone who could use a kind word…maybe its the bus driver, or a new co-worker, or the wierd kid in your night class. I'm not responsible for the events of yesterday, but I can use this event to take more responsibility for those around me. Will this prevent another tragedy? I won't know ever, but for me this is the best way I know to make sense of things and find a meaning for me that is life affirming.