The whole drive of western culture, the part of it which is serious, is towards an extreme objectification. It’s carried to the point where the human subject is treated almost as if it’s dirt in the works of a watch.
So it is that in order to become a “killing machine” whether like the shooter in Oregon, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Connecticut or like a soldier under orders in a battle zone, ONE must mentally detach from the victim(s) or the enemy. Lapsing into seeing another as somebody’s sister, brother, child, parent, friend, spouse, identifying with another’s humanity even for a second might save lives in one situation or cost lives in another.
Discussions abound yet again in homes, schools, political circles, in local and national news following yet another horrific mass murder in an Oregon school.
Is the culprit
- lack of effective gun control?
- mental illness?
- deficient parenting?
- poor law enforcement of current gun control laws?
- disintegration of faith, moral values, respect for authority?
- racism, sexism, terrorism or any other “ism”?
- the “Selfie” [tongue in cheek], by that I mean the desire for notoriety, fame, self promotion?
Or, Whatever?? the possibiites are extensive and all of the previous deserve consideration in this obviously escalating societal anomaly.
However, whether we realize it or not, unless the ‘anomaly’ strikes close to home, either literally or figuratively, each incident desensitizes us until the public rhetoric, survivors’ statements, expert opinions, and our own responses are more memorized than experienced.
Ultimately, we all are in danger of objectification either of other humans or by other humans. We attach labels to individuals, groups, and nations. We watch violence to others in the news, but even more frightening we watch it for entertainment. I am not exempt from this…but when I pause to really think about what I allow into my mind today that would have shocked me 5 years ago, let alone 50 years ago, I realize my SHOCK and HORROR threshold has risen.
With that realization I acknowledge the danger to people as a whole. I acknowledge the lack of empathy and compassion combined with a disregard for the value of human life and a burning undercurrent that would blame another person, group, or nation for everything from the broken window to financial collapse. In the human heart and spirit that is a breeding ground for objectification.
Becoming a “killer” who unleashes a barrage on other humans, one must first stop seeing Oneself and Others as Human Beings.