Old Moon

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I can't let another day go by without saying something about the death of a sales clerk in a stampede at a Walmart. That is the kind of story that makes fanatics out of people who consider themselves above the common herd, who think of themselves as religious and/or ethical experts. It's also the kind of story that makes anyone with a modicum of imagination wonder whether the pronouncements about "common humanity" and "essential goodness" have any but the shallowest foundation. I tremble to think that so many people could be so intent on buying things that they could overlook--worse, perpetrate--the destruction of a stranger's life!

There are so many frightening events these days, and often I'm even glad to be old enough to know I won't find out how they will all play out because I'm scared of how the resolution could be. And that's the most upsetting of all: the thought that maybe the good could actually be outdone by the evil.

Every ordinary person simply cannot become like the people who work in slaughterhouses who have to learn to shut down empathy. Somehow we have to show our children and theirs that until we can in some degree imagine what it's like to be someone else and care about them, we could be dooming the planet!

1 comment:

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Joan, what a gorgeous photo ! Might I have permission to feature your "Settling" on my blog. I do still plan to point some readers your way. This fall has been busier than I ever want to be again.