Thursday, March 18, 2010

Texas plane crash solved nothing

I wanted to wait a while (it's been about a month) before posting anything on this subject, because it's clear we don't have all the facts, and truthfully I haven't read everything available about what happened, nor do I really want to. But after reading a few articles about the Texas plane crash (including this one),there is something that I wanted to say.

I don't really want to make commentary on the man who piloted the plane, since plenty of people seem to be doing that. I never knew him and I have no expertise in psychology. What I do want to address is the highly-publicized excerpt of the suicide note which read as follows:

"Nothing changes unless there is a body count. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at 'Big Brother' while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won't continue; I have just had enough.... Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn't so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer."

The real truth: the Texas plane crash solved nothing.

It makes me think of those boys at Columbine, or any similar act of home-grown terrorism or self-justified act of violence. These acts may be catchy and heroic for those who feel truly troubled by something, and thusly there should be worry of copycat acts. People are affected by (and can identify easily with) the struggle and pain brought on by national and even international financial crises.

But I think it is important to consider this was the voice of someone who gave up. He uses the word "sadly" when he talks about violence being the only answer, but really the statement in itself is what is sad. There is no doubt what he has done was impactful and draws alarmist attention to the hardship of America's striving lower and middle class people. But the "sad" idea that only a body count will inspire change is only perpetuated by those who want to make a statement about giving up. There is absolutely nothing heroic about that.

Someone who wages their own personal war against the government by crafting dramatic situations, damaging property, and finally killing themselves and others is not a hero, or a mascot, or a leader of any kind. These people will only lead others to death and destruction.

True heroism (in this political or social arena) is born out of a person's ability to be revolutionary without this kind of needless destruction. A hero is someone who ventures deep into the roots of the problem and studiously crafts structural improvement. A country, which is home to millions of people, should never be likened to such a problematic building that requires demolition to fix or begin again. A human being, who becomes sick, is not taken away to be executed.

We need to be the doctors of this society. Everyone who has as much as a roof above their heads and dinner on their table has a responsibility to advocate change. We are a nation of dream seekers. It's a beautiful country in which to chase your heart's desires, but right now there are too many people who are chasing just to make ends meet, and too many of these people are not the same people who at one time owned six cars or five homes or a small island somewhere for vacationing.

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