A pittance to pay

by | Jun 1, 2018 | Editorial

Our community was staggered by tragedy a few weeks back with the murder and suicide of a prominent couple in their home.
In the earliest hours following the crime there was panic. No one outside of the sheriff’s office knew what was going on and speculations ran wild as they tend to do when something so reprehensible and incomprehensible racks a mostly quiet and close-knit area.
But as evidence came to light, a more heinous truth emerged. Even more disturbing, there was a history of abuse that somehow escaped closer scrutiny. The bitter and incredibly sad realization that this unspeakable act might have been avoided if only someone had said or done something swept over us all.
And we wonder why.
The reasons are many. Prominence and wealth surely played a role. Charm and a long family history in the River Valley likely did as well. And then there’s the fuzzy line between what is my business and what is not my business. We all struggle with this one, and nobody more than yours truly. I am loathe to stick my nose into anyone else’s life for the simple reason that I don’t want anyone’s nose in mine. And also for the blatantly selfish reason that I am not my brother or sister’s keeper. Why should I be bothered with the well-being of my neighbor? It’s not my place to concern myself with the safety and very lives of others…
Or is it?
We can argue about the philosophy and attitudes involved in either course of action, or rather, one course of action and one course of inaction. Or we can understand that we don’t have a birthright to living in a vacuum when we choose to, though, as an introvert on the deep end of the spectrum I often wish it were so.
So what, if any, positive can we take from this? How can we honor the victim, ensuring that her death was not in vain, and what can we do to make certain that something like this does not happen again? We can talk with the victims of abuse. We can talk to professionals trained to deal with victims of abuse. We can be vigilant, on the watch for warning signs. We can speak up. And we can encourage victims of abuse to speak up and speak boldly. We can care enough to push us out of our comfort range.
Those uncomfortable feelings seem a pittance to pay for the life of a mother, a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a friend.

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