Sorry about this post. It’s going to be melancholy and not very fun. Honestly, this might not be the right place for it, but it’s something I want to say and I’m not really sure where else to say it, so here it goes.
As you may or may not know a boy from my home college, Linfield, was stabbed several times Saturday night for apparently no reason and passed away later from the wounds. If you’d like to read more about it there’s a lot of articles floating around but I’ll just link one here: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/11/linfield_college_football_play.html
The victims name was Parker Moore. I didn’t know him well, but I did know him. He sat in front of me in my econ class last spring and although I never really talked to him, I would occasionally eavesdrop on his conversations and he seemed like an average, good-hearted guy. He played football and was a residence advisor. He had a lot of friends and wasn’t very good at accounting. He deserved so much better than he got. My heart goes out entirely to his family and friends and to my Linfield community at home. Linfield is such a small school that when something like this happens it touches everyone and although I’m not there right now, my thoughts are with my home at Linfield and with all the people I love who I know are impacted by this.
When I learned the news yesterday I felt very distant from it. I just had a casual conversation about it because I honestly wasn’t quite sure of the situation or the circumstance. I glanced at the email and figured it was another scare that Linfield was sending out that wouldn’t hold up. I didn’t think it would have real consequences. I didn’t really acknowledge that it was real. It wasn’t until I attached a face to the name I was reading on the screen that the news hit me. It hit hard.
I was sitting in my room just looking at the screen and looking at pictures from home and then not really looking at anything. I couldn’t help thinking that I knew who this was, that this was just a random tragedy, and that this boy deserved so much more in life. Mostly, I couldn’t help but thinking how afraid I was.
Tragedies have been too common lately. Earlier this year the school our uncle Lynn teaches at had a shooting and though he didn’t get hurt, my heart was beating so fast when I heard the news it took hours to calm myself down. Now, a boy from my school gets stabbed across the street from campus. A place I used to walk by everyday to get to my apartment and the world just seems to come crumbling down around me and I am so afraid. I am afraid for the people I love. I am afraid for the people I know. I am afraid for everyone at home and the world around them and it’s hard. It’s hard because I’m over here and I feel distant from all of it and I tell my friends here about it and they look at me with big, sympathetic eyes and ask me if I’m okay and I want to tell them that this sort of thing doesn’t normally happen, that this sort of thing isn’t common place, but I don’t know if that’s true anymore and it’s making me feel so powerless.
I’m afraid because the world isn’t as pure to me as it once was. I’m afraid because things like this are starting to make me lose faith in the world around me. I’m afraid because Parker Moore should have lived a long life and he didn’t get to and it’s absolutely terrifying. I’m afraid because things like this keep happening and no one seems to be doing anything about it.
I know fear doesn’t actually help anything. I know that the only thing we can really do from this point is move forward. That me being afraid for people at home doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen to them and that in reality, I have no control over the safety of the people I love, but that doesn’t help. I want to feel some sense of control. I want to know that the world is a just and fair place and that bad things shouldn’t happen to good people and when they do, we reevaluate what’s happening. When bad things happen we should try to fix them, but that doesn’t feel like the truth.
It feels like when tragedies strike we look at them and say that the world is unfair and move forward. The problem is, sometime I don’t want to move forward. Sometimes it’s impossible to move forward because instead of hope I’m left with fear. The truth is, we’re all afraid and that’s why it’s so hard to move on.
We’re afraid of our government so we refuse to give up guns, despite the fact that mentally ill kids use them to harm other people. We’re afraid of each other to the point where it’s getting hard to lend a helping hand. We’re afraid of the world around us so we shut ourselves away from the news and make ourselves deaf to the tragedies that we can stay disconnected from. We’re so afraid of each other and the world that it’s getting impossible to solve problems when it’s so obvious to everyone that something needs to be done. That something should be done.
But nothing is going to happen. Nothing is going to solve this problem.
And I am so tired of being afraid.