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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Thoughts on the Oklahoma Tornado and Other Survival Stories

I don't have, or know, all the latest news. The last I heard was that 51 people were confirmed dead, and up to twenty of those were children. It was deemed at least an EF4 tornado, and potentially an F5, from my understanding, which is beyond devastating. When I lived in Edmonton a number of years ago, we had an F4 carve its path through the city. I was 16 at the time, and on my way to work. The bus never showed up, and I was left standing there with the wind and rain whipping at me, wondering how the hell I was going to pay my rent if I didn't get to work every day. (Yes, I was living on my own by then.) I had no idea there was a tornado going on until I got back home. By the time it was over, 27 people were dead.

This tragedy nearly doubles that, so far. There's no way of knowing right now what the final count will be. To the best of my knowledge they are still going through the rubble to remove the victims and survivors. One pretty amazing detail that has come out so far, however, is that of a teacher that gave her life for three children. They pulled a car from the wreckage to find three children still alive beneath the body of the teacher. I cry every time I see stuff like that, but truthfully it happens all the time. Another teacher at the same school shielded a number of children from winds of up to 200 miles per hour, and all survived. The article I link here was updated within the last half hour, and says there were seven children found drowned. There are varying reports on the number of victims that were children.

The thing is, heroism happens all the time, and it's everywhere we look if we choose to see it. Acts of heroism aren't always large ones, but to the person that is helped it could be the best thing that has ever happened to them. We saw it with the Boston Marathon bombing, where people ran toward the blast area to help the victims. So many people whose first instinct was to help. They ignored their own personal safety completely. Time and time again we see this behaviour.

People are not the horrors we like to think they are. Yes, the world has problems, and we see those problems promoted over and over. The 1% of the 1% of the 1%...if it's even that much. Out of seven billion people on the planet, that would make for about 7,000 people who are truly horrific. We see examples all the time in the politicians who spew hate messages and wouldn't step out to save their own mothers. We see nasty people that abduct and rape and kill. We see serial killers everywhere we look. In the US, which has a very high number of serial killers, there are approximately 25-100 active serial killers. It's impossible for anyone to say with any accuracy, however. Even taking that top number, that's only 0.000032% if my math is correct. We are not the world of monsters we've been conditioned to believe.

Evil may take many forms, but so does good. I'm not referring to evil in its biblical connotation either. I refer to it strictly in the sense of humanity's capacity to do evil deeds on their own. There's more than enough enough evil that occurs naturally, without having to resort to spiritual explanations for it. With the reading I've been doing lately, many new things are being discovered regarding the evil that humans perpetrate. I do a lot of studying on serial killers, and I try to keep as up-to-date as possible in my research.

The latest news is that there are three characteristics that create serial killers. The first is a very distinctive different in the actual brain, the second is buried in the DNA, and the third is environmental which is usually an abuse thing. We really are getting answers for the evil that walks among us. It's explainable. Hopefully they will soon be able to explain it enough that it simply won't happen. We might be able to create a serial killer vaccine even. Something that stops that one gene from ever forming. Of course, genetic modification has its own pitfalls and moral issues, which would take a great deal of time to sort out.

However, the fact remains that the really, really bad people of this world take up such a miniscule portion of the population that we have to stop saying that the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. It's not. I promise you that the good far outweighs the bad. It's a world worth saving. It's a world worth knowing. It's a world worth seeing for what it truly is.