Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Like the Train Wreck

Something horrific happens and people often say they should turn away, but don't.

I just read an extremely disturbing article on a website that I respect (and still do), that pointed me to another disturbing article that pointed me to another disturbing article on yet another website that I respect (and still do). It was nothing racy; they were articles about real people from the Middle Ages and today, who did truly horrific things to other real people. Some of those things made my stomach turn just to read about them, and yet, I kept reading.

Maybe we keep looking when we think we shouldn't because we've already seen something we immediately wished we hadn't seen. How much more damage to our delicate, caring, empathetic psyche can we do? Really, I'm not going to be scarred for the rest of my life because I know some uncomfortable facts (that's an understatement), but I could have done without the gory details just the same. Though, I'm much happier to have just read about them rather than witnessed them first hand.

It makes me wonder why we watch at all. An accident on the highway causes major delays mostly from the people who slow down just to look at what's going on as they drive by. I wonder what they are hoping to see. Damage? Blood? Dead bodies? And what difference does it make to them to have or have not seen it? Or, is it simply the fact that we are a curious race, in general, and like to know what is going on? If that's the case, we're also a "doubting Thomas" kind of people, because the radio reports that tell us what we want to know aren't enough, we have to see it for ourselves.

It's a rather peculiar thing when you think about it.

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