Thursday, March 6, 2014

Collateral damage 2

Collateral damage is an inevitable part of sin. Something is meant to be kept secret, but the word gets out and people are hurt. Or the word doesn't get out and in all the machinations to keep the secret, people get hurt.

The parents treat each other badly and the children, watching, are damaged. Crime escalates in a town and everyone ends up on edge, mistrustful. In trying to solve a national problem, a new law is passed. But after its enactment, there are unforeseen consequences. When the police try to protect someone, another person ends up wounded. The drones are sent to take out a terrorist. But an entire family is killed.

Wrong place, wrong time. Innocent bystanders. It could happen to any of us, which is why being part of collateral damage scares us so.

And it's probably why when people with an agenda set out intentionally to cause collateral damage, we get so angry, so indignant, and so fearful. People are going about their everyday lives—and boom, or blam, blam, blam—it's all over in an instant. We recoil hard at the kinds of violence associated with terrorists, whether it's roadside bombs, machete-wielding mobs, or governments gassing their own people overseas or the U.S. version, a home-grown, lone gunman.

The effect of (and often the whole point of) the bombings, the gassings, the mass shootings, and other forms of indiscriminate violence is to kill and maim some people, disrupt life, and make people more fearful, more watchful, less willing to help others.

Nobody wants to end up as collateral damage.

No comments: