How many times do we hear this after a tragedy such as happened this week in Blacksburg Virginia? Didn’t you just know that was coming?
So you know what I wonder? Was he (or any of the loners who commit these heinous acts), driven to become a killer because of the inherent loneliness of his life, or was he a loner because he was already messed up and capable of such an act? In other words which came first?
It strikes me as ironic that in such a populous society, people can be so lonely. I understand loneliness very well. It is a daily part of my life as well. That is not to say I don’t have friends, I do and I see them often, yet in my day to day work/kids/housework/repeat cycle I go days at a time with no true meaningful adult conversation. I’m sure that is one of the reasons I stayed in an unhealthy relationship for so long. A less than perfect relationship is better than the loneliness of no relationship.
Do you know your neighbors? I speak at least weekly to the neighbors on either side of me. If you go more than a couple of houses in any direction, I don’t know them or speak to them. I live in a small town, and I have lived in this house for over ten years. I’m sure it must be worse in large cities. Is my situation typical? I suspect so.
Jonathan Larson hit on this concept so well in RENT.
Disparate individuals creating their own community. –
What Was It About That Night?
Connection-In An Isolating Age
For Once-The Shadows Gave Way To
For Once I Didn't Disengage
Why is it so easy to isolate ourselves? Do we just have so many comforts and entertainments in our homes that we don’t need to seek out our neighbors?
Does the internet and comment threads help or hurt?
I don’t know.
I know one thing, Hillary was right when she said, “It takes a village.” Would a support group of close friends have stayed Cho Seung-Hui’s hand? Maybe not, but I strongly suspect that had he felt that he “fit in” and had a group of friends to vent to, he may never have gotten to this awful breaking point.