Shock and Apathy

They roamed free without a care. We worshiped them as much as we feared them. They had one message for us all: we are not to be questioned.

History said we must have them. They were a sacred piece of our culture. Our very survival. They ranked in line after our gods and our patriotism. They were us and we were them. Without them, who would we be?

Over time, they gained strength. Bigger. Faster. More sophisticated.  From utilitarian to status symbol. From bumbling to sleek. From uncoordinated to specific.

We watched as our heroes wielded them in dazzling display. No one questioned them when they had one. Simulations allowed us to try them for ourselves, to feel just as brazen and powerful as those we regarded with such admiration.

Then they came for our schools.

We were shocked. We said our prayers and we gave our thoughts. But we did nothing. It’s not fair, we said. Those simulations are to blame. All returned to normal.

Then they came for our workplaces.

We were shocked. We said our prayers and we gave our thoughts. But we did nothing. Those people were disgruntled, we said. This was not our fault. All returned to normal.

Then then came for our leaders.

We were shocked. We said our prayers and we gave our thoughts. But we did nothing. People are angry about politics, we said. It’s because of the partisanship. All returned to normal.

Then they came for our colleges.

We were shocked. We said our prayers and we gave our thoughts. But we did nothing. We needed to be more vigilant about the people around us, we said. We need to come up with a solution to protect ourselves, not take them away. All returned to normal.

Then they came for our theaters.

We were shocked. We said our prayers and we gave our thoughts. But we did nothing. It’s the lack of mental health treatment, we said. We blamed our entertainers for skewing our perceptions. All returned to normal.

Then they came for our children.

We were shocked. We said our prayers and gave our thoughts. But we did nothing. No one could’ve predicted this, we said. We found nothing in records to assume something so heinous. All returned to normal.

Then they came for our churches.

We were shocked. We said our prayers and we gave our thoughts. But we did nothing. They were clearly disturbed, we said. Racism is to blame. All returned to normal.

Then they came for our nightclubs.

We were shocked. We said our prayers and we gave our thoughts. But we did nothing. This person was an unhinged radical, we said. We must blame religion for this atrocity. All returned to normal.

Then they came for our concerts.

We were shocked. We said our prayers and we gave our thoughts. But we did nothing. We had regulations for this, we said. We must protect the law abiding citizens who would never do something like this. All returned to normal.

And the next time this happens, we’ll be shocked. We’ll say our prayers and give our thoughts. But we’ll do nothing.

We value them more than we do each other.

 

 

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