Yesterdays post was about a shooting in the pony keg next to my building. It assumed, wrongly, that the shooter was a man.
But it was a woman.
I’m grappling with that. My first impulse is all the cultural bias I own about women. Then I have to re-calibrate. I assumed without consideration that man did this. Why?
More to the point was my assumption about her post shooting reaction. I assumed the man MIGHT have regret at killing a man over money.
But I more than assume it for a woman and then back it off because she actually did it.
The reality is that some people live, explain and justify their lives through overarching principle rather than outcomes.
So if you live by overarching principle – the person robbing is wrong, the person shooting is right. Then the death of a human being for a few hundred dollar seems worthy.
If you live by outcome – the person killing is wrong. No amount of money will equal a human life.
If you look at that duality you see the complexity. I will probably always land on the preserve life side, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t fully get how this happened.
We want to simplify. And I was all about simplifying until a small tendril of recognition hit my brains.
It was a woman. How ridiculous and how fortuitous. It made me realize. Humans all act in a moment. We act on all the accumulated beliefs and values that led us that place. We rarely have the luxury of considering that moment and it’s consequences.
My boss, one of the kindest people I have known, first said “Good”. He had been robbed many times as a Taxi dispatcher. His drivers had been robbed and beaten. He has no sympathy for the robber’s viewpoint. This is one of the kindest men I know. He offered me a job when I was homeless. He recognizes the hardship of being poor. As well as the injustice of being robbed. When I pointed out the absolute values of death vs money he immediately got it.
But. He also got why this robber was shot. We cannot let the robber rule us. On the other hand we cannot become the robber – willing to kill for their objective.
That mean ALL OF THE INPUTS WE RECEIVE are crucial to the moment of truth. Think about them. Pay attention when the stakes are low.