It Didn't Affect Me...Or Did It?

by Kelsey Fischer

I can honestly say that I never thought such tragedy could happen in this world as the one yesterday. Then I realized what a sheltered world I live in. But it wasn't from a lack of knowing, but a lack of not wanting to know, that I could be in such disbelief over the attacks at Virginia Tech. I was quite young when the events happened at Columbine, and I was only a bit older during September 11th. It's funny how you can look back on these events and compare your point of view on death – how when you’re young and innocent, that the idea of death doesn't have much of an effect on you.

I have to admit that I've lived a very fortunate life. I've only been to about three funerals in my lifetime, and only one of those happened to be for someone that I still have memories of today. I still had this naive idea of death, not fully able to comprehend it. It's kind of funny to actually think about death and life. To realize how fleeting a life is, and how easy it is for it to disappear.

As I've grown older, I realized I had looked upon life as an action movie. Good plot, hero saves the day, and oh yeah...those background people "died." Although, we all know that Hollywood doesn't actually kill people, so it's all good. Now, I view it as much more, because I realize just how short life is.

I'm going to see if I can get you to grasp this strange abstract idea that just hit me. I want you to picture life as if it was a Hollywood action film. We have our dashingly handsome hero and his beautiful damsel in distress running from the bad guys through a crowded street. Shots are fired and of course our stars are fine, but common people begin to fall. We don't really care much because our two leads are perfectly fine. We don't know those other peoples’ characters and we don't care if they die. Sounds quite selfish, doesn't it?

Now, I want to equate this little Hollywood film to our own lives, because so many people are exactly like this. We constantly have this point of view that as long as I'm safe and those I care about are safe, then nothing matters. They're just background people, in the story of my life. Hopefully that sounds just as sadistic and horrible to you, as it does to me. But, by listening to the radio and reading online, I realized that this is the exact viewpoint of many people in the world today. Scary ain't it?

I was horrified and floored to listen to people calling in to a music radio station yesterday and complaining because they decided to withhold their normal "game show" activities in respect for the dead. One woman even had the gall to proclaim that, "In times like this we need to carry on living our lives and we need to be happy." Come off it! Can't you even give people a day to mourn the lives lost?! But no, we must move on right away and totally forget a little thing called respect for the families and loved ones.

This terrible feeling of "it didn't affect me so why should I suffer" seems to have impregnated our culture. And we wonder why people forget the cost of lives on September 11th, or other such horrific events. We live in such a self-centered, it's all about me me me, society and it's quite literally terrifying.

Anyways, to end my rant, I must ask that you as the future of this country take a good look at how you view such events in life. I know as Christians we pray for those left behind in mourning, and show our respect. In times of such sorrow please show your support and don't end up like those self-centered people surrounding our culture today.

Also, be sure to read myHT: Oh That You Would Slay the Wicked by Rev. Rich Heinz. 

Kelsey Fischer is a college student majoring in history and dance, and is a regular blogger for Higher Things. Kelsey wrote this article in the wake of last month’s tragedy at Virginia Tech.

Created: May 16th, 2007