After the Crash in the Alps

There was something missing in the early accounts of the recent crash into the French Alps. How could a plane filled with 150 souls slam into the mountainside without any signs? Today (Thursday) we have heard the French Prosecutor recount the near-certainty that the co-pilot locked out the pilot, and set the controls to crash. On the cockpit recorder, it is reported, the man “flying the plane” was breathing smoothly, not obviously in distress, and cries of the passengers were heard only during the last few seconds before impact.

What is so frustrating is that so many people want to understand this perpetrator, his mindset, whether there were clues to this behavior on the plane. I can feel the pull toward blaming his decision to commit  mass murder on some or other mental illness.

Why are we so hesitant to see a deliberate, premeditated action as evil? One hundred fifty families are broken, torn apart. Children, babies even, are gone. Adults from more than ten countries are lost. And the pseudo-professional panelists who pull apart every horrible news story will try to fill the next days, even weeks with wondering why he acted in this way.

I used to believe that, for the most part, this world is good, filled with good-hearted people. Sometimes, because they are broken, they make make very bad decisions, but deep down, they are good. The truth is that developing a habit of ill behavior takes time and intention. It’s not a snap decision, and it certainly feel so good that it causes permanent elation. I believe that the first step to addressing evil is to name evil. Then perhaps we can change or mend the world a little bit.

It surely is a sad day. It is a sadness that makes me ill. It takes my breath away. Is there power in destroying others? What is power if you destroy yourself and others in the process? I am going into brooding mode for a while.

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