Have we become a society that has no regard for human life? Or have we always been that kind of callous society? Are we becoming more civilized over the centuries? Or are we hopelessly fallen savages who are fooling ourselves by pretending to be more civil? I can’t decide.
There’s a game that certain thuggish teens in Chicago play called “Pick ’em out and knock ’em out.” (Maybe it’s played elsewhere, but I’ve never heard of it until now.) Three Chicago teens ran across a 62-year-old man last Tuesday when they decided to randomly play this sick game.
“I think I’m gonna knock out this (expletive),” said the 16-year-old who started it, according to prosecutors. They say he started the video recorder on his cellphone and handed it to a 17-year-old to record the attack. He and an 18-year-old took turns recording the beating.
The three thugs surrounded Delfino Mora, an unemployed, partly disabled man who was in an alley collecting cans for recycling. The 16-year-old asked whether Mora had any money. When Mora didn’t respond, he punched him hard enough to knock the older man down. When his head hit the concrete, there was a loud crack that can be heard on the video recording, according to prosecutors.
Then the three teen thugs stole $60 from Mora’s billfold. As they walked away, all three can be heard laughing about the attack on the defenseless older man.
How do we know what happened? Police have the video. Why do they have the video? Because they were so proud of the attack that the 16-year-old posted it on his Facebook page.
Someone found Mora three hours after the attack, but he died in a hospital the next day. It took a couple of days, but one of Mora’s sons eventually saw the Facebook video and called police. The three thugs were arrested over the weekend.
So tell me how it’s possible to stop this kind of behavior. More social programs? More police officers? Some kind of intervention in schools? I don’t think so. I just don’t see it.
The truth is that human beings do monstrous things to other human beings, very regularly. We’re brutal and nasty to one another, at times for absolutely no reason.
At other times, humans are kind and loving to others. We’ve seen examples of that right here regularly. Sometimes strangers do amazing things to help other people, just out of the desire to do good.
Will the real representative of the human race please stand up?
Are we vicious and mean? Or are we kind and loving? Are we civilized? Or are we hopelessly uncivilized?
We seem to be all of the above. I can’t tell if we’re really getting any better or not. Maybe we’re just fooling ourselves when we think so. I’m a believer in the idea of original sin, so I think it’s a part of the package of being human.
We’re never going to be perfected in this world, but I don’t see how we have any choice but to keep trying. Until our Maker comes back to take away evil for good, I have idea how we can stop the viciousness that’s so pervasive in many parts of society.