Thursday, April 8, 2010

From Life's Bone

What's Beneath the Surface?

Two stories in the news recently seem, at first unrelated. But are they?

In West Virginia, 25 coal miners are killed by a mine explosion. In Massachusetts, a 15 year old teen commits suicide in the face of overwhelming bullying and harassment at school. The first story is very recent. Current, in fact. The second incident occurred back in January, but is in the news now because of possible indictments in the aftermath of the tragedy.

So, what is the common thread? A history of violations that gave each tragic event a higher likelihood of occurrence. The coal mining company had been cited numerous times in the past for unsafe work conditions, including the build-up of methane gas in the coal mine. Some citations resulted in fines. In retrospect, a slap on the wrist for continuing in operations that have now killed 25 men, and devastated that many families, and the community in general. In the case of the teen death in Massachusetts, school administrators were apparently unresponsive to the pleas of a number of parents and students to curb the harassment and bullying that had been going on for some time. In both cases, a history of violations preceded the tragic event.

Whenever a blind eye is turned away from an on-going or emerging problem, that problem sooner or later will take its toll. Denial of reality whether in the workplace, in the school, or in the home is an invitation to disaster and tragedy.

A Brief Comment from Dee 

Human folly is sad and maddening.

Tragedies occur because we (being rational beings) are somehow able to rationalize the irrational motives of our actions and inactions, allowing disastrous events and circumstances to occur that could have been prevented.

Whenever we allow our wanton desires to interfere with the basic needs and interests of others – tragedies occur.

You know, what's even more sad and maddening – is how we humans attempt to detract from and justify our own indefensible choices (decisions that cause great harm and suffering) by sanctimoniously judging the inexcusable behaviors of others.

Dan, thank you, once again, for your insightful observations.

1 comment:

mythopolis said...

Thanks for your comments, Dee. Attitudes of superiority and entitlement in persons of power, whether you are CEO of a mining op, or a Senator in Washington, have such corollaries as: lack of compassion or empathy, indifference to the plight of others, and outright denial of reality. The same can happen in a family....the parents and the children they raise. Core values seem lost on some back burner of modern life.