Child Versus Adult “Value”

This news story: “what if children mattered no matter where they lived and died?” made me ask “what if humans mattered no matter where they lived and died?”

The story basically alludes to the recent massacre in Newtown, Connecticut:

When we draw comparisons between a particular event and other similar tragedies, it is not to say that they all matter equally, but to remind ourselves that we’re conditioned to feel that some matter quite a bit more than others.

To me there isn’t much of a distinction in the value of a child versus an adult (versus any animal for that matter). I’ll admit children dying tugs at the heart strings differently.  Does it feel different because I am “conditioned” or is there some underlying truth to the difference? Regardless, trying to rationalize how/if to draw the lines of value is hard for me. But perhaps not so hard for the drone dropping commander in chief, who can put on a good act of conditional compassion.

The act of parenthood itself is violent because parents have forced an existence of pain (and pleasure) on someone. We don’t ask to be born, we are forced. It’s a gift, and it’s a curse. Nevertheless, like life, there is pain and pleasure in death for those that survive to witness it. We often mourn the loss of the pleasure and comfort of the connections we made with that being, and at the same time are relieved to know they will suffer no more.

Michael Moore had an interesting point recently in regards to the shooting which basically cites our culture, or in my mind an abusive Big Brother, and the collateral damage of emulation that results.

“Guns don’t kill people, Americans kill people, because that’s what we do. We invade countries. We send drones in to kill civilians. We’ve got five wars going on right now where our soldiers are killing people—I mean, five that we know of. We are on the short list of illustrious countries who have the death penalty. We believe it’s OK to kill you when you’ve committed a crime.”

Add the drug war, maybe video games, and a fascination with violent sports like boxing, MMA and the like…or just roll the dice. With several billion people we are bound to have some outliers on the fringes of the ‘bell-curve’ of human nature. It’s the ringing and sometimes the tolling of the bell that sucks, but thankfully we don’t have to suffer it everyday because most of us are compassionate enough to feel for those that had to hear it when it comes, and smart enough to know that most people shouldn’t have to suffer the sounds of ringing the bell especially unnecessary funeral tolls.

Leave a Reply