I watched the news yesterday morning. I am sure many others did as well. People shot and a booby-trapped apartment brought together by a seemingly "easy going" young man. Each station gave chilling details of the attack in Aurora, but the one question they were unable to answer was why.
Why would a young man who appears to have a lot going for him decide to start gunning down people in a theater? Sure, each news channel will trot out some psychologist or profiler or psycho babbling bobble-head with a theory. For that matter, this young man may probably start talking soon, and his reason? His reason will be utter nonsense.
We ask why, but the answer will only confound us more. We try to make sense of something senseless and cruel. Maybe we think that if we know the answer we can have some control over this situation. Maybe we could stop this if we could just figure out the reason.
In college, the one piece of information I remember from my psychology class is people are not rational, rather people rationalize. We do what we want to do and come up with a reason or excuse later. Try as we might, there are some situations where we did not think our way into it and we are not thinking are way out of it either.
I would like to know why this man chose to do what he did, but I also know that his explanation, his reason would never satisfy me. I am not sure anything he says or thinks would make me feel better. I guess I am asking why because my brain is trying to make sense of some heart or soul disconnect. Certainly, if you feel so angry, so isolated and so small that you feel you must hurt and kill others, there is a disconnect with your soul.
Perhaps our asking why demands we answer with what. What will we do? What will we be? We must respond to the situation.
So how do we feel our way out of this situation? How do we feel our way to the why and move forward? How do we reconnect our minds, our hearts and our souls?
I think that we acknowledge sadness over the loss of life. We acknowledge that for better or for worse, we are all connected to each other. When any of us dies or is hurt, the whole can feel that damage. So, we pray.
We pray for those other parts of the body, the human family. We pray for the loss and the losses that are felt by those closer to those parts- their families and friends. We also pray for ourselves. We pray that we do not lose our connection to our souls and the souls of others.
So, we reach out to those who we love, and those who need our love. We may never get a why that will satisfy our logic or our reason. If we get an explanation, we still will not get control. We do, however, get to respond, and perhaps that response is more important than any man with gun.