What Can I Do?

Pause . .  perhaps next time, I will do better. Now is that next time . .

I read an article about a murder case that initially transpired over 30 years ago. It has been appealed many times. The facts are compelling and the circumstances of the victims were heart breaking, (children were involved). More than one book has been written about this case, however what attracted my attention was an explanation so stunning and clear I realized the analysis of it explains why many people make decisions without sufficient fore thought or understanding of the consequences.

The following words are not mine, rather they are an excerpt giving explanation on how someone can commit an action based on exclusive and isolated thought process. You may have to read it more than once carefully as I did, to understand its full implications.

Here’s a riddle: At the funeral of her sister, a woman meets a man and falls in love with him. But she never asks his name and loses track of him, and when the funeral is over, he is gone. No one can identify him.

Two weeks later, the woman murders her brother. Why?

All essential facts are known to you. Any guess?

The answer: Because she thinks the man might come back for the brother’s funeral.

This is said to be a primitive psychological test to detect sociopath behavior. A sociopath, who is amoral and makes decisions solely based on his/her own needs, supposedly would see the answer immediately.

This test may seem extreme but it does explain a type of self centered behavior.

People often commit outrageous actions against someone because they want something and immediately see their own needs greater than any harm or negative impact on the other person or group. I’ve witnessed this behavior toward me on several occasions and recognize many other people have as well to varying degrees.

Perhaps the next time you find someone has taken something from you or read that it has happened to another person, you can recognize what has just occurred. They may not be sociopathic but they are specifically focused on their own wants without regard on how it affects another person. Justification of their action is usually the first explanation heard. Most often the perpetrator commits an act they have accused the other individual or group.

If you witness or learn of an entire group of people committing harmful acts against another group, and the perpetrator of the harmful act attempts to reason it away, then you should recognize this behavior committed by people who are without moral foundation. Sometimes the arguments or the excuses are so twisted and detailed they can seemingly rationalize almost any overt action.

The often cited, seldom followed ‘golden rule’ of only doing unto others as you would want them to do to you seems applicable, once again. That’s my way of saying thank you to my mother. A woman who often was often misused but not one to reciprocate in the same unkind way.

No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop

I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do. ~ Helen Keller

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single minute before starting to improve the world. ~ Anne Frank

No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves. ~ Amelia Earhart