I know this is probably a very controversial subject at the moment but I’m tired of the lack of humanitarian understanding and forgiveness when extreme situations occur.
There are many, this morning, shouting “Thank God that bloody lunatic, Raoul Moat is dead!” or words to that effect.
Only last month there was the case of Derrick Bird who rampaged through quiet towns and villages in Cumbria, reports told us that there were 12 dead and 11 injured. I’d say the reports were slightly incorrect. Derrick Bird’s actions left 13 dead and 11 injured, for he himself lost his life even though he killed himself.
Thomas Hamilton, in 1996, devasted the town of Dunblane, when he opened fire in a school, killing 16 Children and 1 Adult and injuring 13 Children and 3 Adults. Yet again, the newspapers and television reports mentioned him killing himself as an additional extra instead of adding him to the sad loss total.
In Hungerford, in 1987, Michael Ryan shot and killed 16 people and yet his own life was omitted from the total to mourn for.
If we are ever going to learn about the true meanings of forgiveness, compassion and understanding we need to demonstrate it when atrocities affect us as a nation.
Raoul Moat, Derrick Bird, Thomas Hamilton and Michael Ryan were all human beings. What concerns me most is that they must have been at such a low point in their mental state, they must have given up so totally on their own lives and lost all ability to rationalise, that they were drawn to take such devastatingly painful action.
Anyone who has ever suffered from Depression will remember how isolating and soul destroying it can be. All the good intentions in the world, from friends and family, cannot penetrate the blackness and, whatever chemical deficiency that causes the dark abyss, totally takes over everything that happens in life.
Some years ago, I watched a documentary where celebrities were challenged to use Public Transport instead of their cars. A certain Nicholas Parsons was using the train to get to a meeting and his train came to a sudden standstill. With time ticking away waiting quite a while without any announcement of the reason for the hold-up, Mr Parsons was getting quite agitated. Finally came the announcement that someone had committed suicide further up the line and that was the reason for their delay. Mr Parsons announced to the camera “So I’m going to be late because some idiot has decided to throw himself infront of a train.” Shame on you Mr Parsons, Shame on you! The person you describe as an idiot had reached a point where there was no meaning to their life anymore and had been compelled by the dark abyss to terminate the suffering. Hitting the bottom of “the pool of hope” does not offer any rational thinking into the consequences of their actions, it doesn’t allow for the poor train driver’s suffering, the people on the train who are expecting to reach their destination, it takes over so completely that the action is done without a world existing beyond the darkness.
Every suicide should lay heavy on the hearts of humanity. We must have failed them terribly to allow such darkness, even when they have affected others and I’m afraid that also goes for those who take others with them.
As for Raoul Moat, I am aware that he had just been released from prison after serving time for assault but doesn’t this mean that somewhere back in time, something changed him from being a peace loving and caring person (which we are all born as) to someone who cannot communicate without violence?
My heart goes out to the families, friends and loved ones of all those who have suffered or lost their lives in shooting incidents, but I also offer prayers for the men who held the guns, for they too were part of the family of humanity, my family, and I’m regretful that our family did not notice their internal suffering and allowed them to become so desperate that drastic action was the only route they could find. Peace be on their souls.