Saturday, February 01, 2003

I was just thinking about the question of why we mourn the loss of seven astronauts more than we mourn, for example, the loss of thousands who die every year in car accidents. I think it is because the injury that occurred today goes beyond just the loss of seven lives. It is a blow against our very hopes for the future. The assassination of JFK. The killing of John Lennon. The Challenger and Columbia. The fall of the WTC. These are all events that involve more than just the deaths of the individuals involved but also the death of hopes, dreams, and perhaps a certain childlike naivete. The anonymous person killed in a car accident. The faceless Iraqi citizen killed by a U.S. bomb. The old man who dies hacking to death on the remains of lungs ravaged by cigarette smoke. These are all tragedies in that they are the loss of a human life. But we have little to no emotional investment in their lives. So their deaths just don't mean as much to us. Only God can care about all human beings equally. Only God can mourn all human beings equally. The best we can do is hope to emulate his example as best we can.

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