Saturday, December 15, 2012

Heavy Heart and Busy Mind!

The shooting at the school in Connecticut has sadden me to the core. I have thought about evil, the shooter, and those precious children and their families.

At the time that the shooter entered the classroom, I wonder what were those children doing? Were they creating holiday cards for their parents, were they in the middle of story time, were they getting ready to do math, or were they taking a break and laughing and playing like children like to do?

My freshmen and I have just completed reading Lord of the Flies by William Golding. In teaching this novel, I focus a lot on good and evil and the idea of whether or not everyone has an evil side.

The children who are stranded on an island In Lord of the Flies are convinced that there is a beast on the island. They kill a pig and put the pig's head on a stick and leave it as an offering for the beast. Simon, one of the main characters, comes face to face with the pig's head as Simon is hallucinating while having a epileptic seizure. The beast says to Simon: “Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt or kill!” and “You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close.”

William Golding is trying to convey the message that we are looking for evil outside of ourselves, when it is actually inside of us.......

People kill people, start wars, spread rumors, talk viciously about each other, misunderstand each other and act on it and on and on and on.

One of my students brought up the point that in the bible, evil is viewed as something that is outside of us; something that we have to fight off. However,William Golding sees evil as something that is inside of us; something that will come out of us if we are put in strenuous situations. After the student stated this, I stopped and repeated it, and I have thought a lot about this every since. (Out of the mouth of a babe!) 

So, that evil that happened at that school, I wonder if it was inside the shooter or was it some type of force that he was working against? I really want to believe that he had a good side, but something happened to make his evil side completely take over. 

Looking at people, it is very difficult to know what's going on inside of them. Most of us wear different masks as stated by Paul Laurence Dunbar in his poem "We Wear the Mask." 

Not sure where I am going with this, but what I do know is that there is evil in the world and it seems to be coming from people and being directed towards people, and not always grown people, but innocent young children.

I wish that all people, including myself, would do self assessments often and get help when it is needed. I wish that the shooter of those children in Connecticut would have thought: "I don't feel right today" and would have gone to get some much needed help.

I know that mental illness is real and sometimes undetected but.....damn I wish that everyone had a therapist, or a preacher, or their God, or somebody else on speed dial to pull him/her out when he/she need it.

Was the evil within the shooter or was there some outside force that caused him to do it?????

Some questions have no answers and the Beadle, a character from the memoir Night, stated that questions are what draw us closer to God.

Heavy Heart and Busy Mind!


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candi said...

I lovw the way you connect theology ib your classroom! And share it in your blog! I just talked about how we ignore mental illness in our community.

Jacqueline said...

Thanks for leaving a comment guys. Candi, literature covers a multitude of topics and that is one of the reasons why I love teaching literature.

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