By now, most of us are aware of the tragedy that went down at a club in Orlando this past weekend. I will not rehash the details and I will leave the responsibility of knowing the background to the reader. I am not particularly interested with the tragedy itself – bad things happen to people all the time and one would go insane to give any tragedy more than a modicum of emotion or thought – but I am extremely interested with the response that people have. It interests me to see that people are getting more emotional and invested for people they’ve never known than those that are close to proximity in life. It also interests me to see the emotional responses that drive politics and how two different groups of people can have the same emotions but come up with wildly different knee-jerk solutions. As I’ve said all along, we need to leave our emotions at home when it comes to determining how we are going to live our lives and how we are going to enact policies that effect the lives of others. People are irrational during times of tragedy, but the damage they can cause may be irrevocable.
People are shedding more tears and extending more love to people that they’ve never known rather than extending the same magnitude of emotion and care toward those with greater proximity. This baffles me. Why would one waste emotion, compassion, and care on those that will never know their name? Why would you disrespect those in your own life by demonstrating that others have immensely more value? It does not make sense. The empathic and emotional mind is a diseased one on this front. Rather than acting in the name of kinship, they act in the name of tragedy.
What is equally baffling is that depending on which side of the political spectrum you lie, the emotional response dictates a different reaction when it comes to policy. An emotional left is calling for further restriction of legal gun use. The emotional right is calling for the heads of all of those that shared the murderer’s demographic. Neither of these stances are particularly rooted in logic, but the emotional mind writhes until something relieves the pressure, and in this case, it is subjugation that answers the call. That’s right, people are using their emotional feeling state to justify the restriction of the rights of others. In this sense it is very interesting to see how empathy, group dynamics, and latent antisocial proclivities are intertwined. I cannot believe in the goodness of man when he commits atrocity as a response to tragedy.
Man is a complex and contradictory creature. He claims to act morally and ethically, but then when his emotions flare, he reveals his true nature. He subconsciously wants to appear more emotional than thou in order to jockey for his own status. He places his energy in the hands of strangers rather than his own chosen kin. And, all of this is deemed acceptable by a neurotypical mass. It will be very interesting to see what arrives in the coming days and months; I’m certain that great injustices will be committed, all in the name of tragedy.