By Marc Klaas
We know it exists yet we fear it and are reluctant to acknowledge it. We excuse it and justify it even as it erodes our society and protect it as it destroys our foundation. We doubt it yet it doubts us not. We philosophize about its origins, protest its existence and allow it to confuse our minds. We invest resource to eradicate it as we allow it to control some part of our lives and promote it in our arts. Yet we are Americans and we pride ourselves in overcoming adversity and triumphing over evil.
When a manufacturer produces 1,000,000 widgets he knows that some small percentage of those widgets will be defective. It has nothing to do with his technique. It is just the law of averages. No amount of engineering or restructuring will overcome that fact. The best he can hope for is that diligent screening and proper management will keep the defective widgets to a minimum. He maintains quality not by luck or by science, but by hard work and common sense.
So it is with humans. Airplanes blown out of the sky, children massacred in school, exploding buildings and hundreds of murdered and maimed in the name of third rate philosophies. It dominates the evening news and plays havoc with our sensibilities. We have compassion for the victims, but no solutions for its causes.
So it is with Polly's killer. He is a defective widget for which there is no excuse or justification. He symbolizes evil incarnate. All the so called expert witnesses in the world will not change that fact. He is the reason we watch that triumph of the human spirit called the Olympics, knowing deep within our souls that some terrible occurrence might render it all for naught. He is the reason that the balance between good and evil is so tenuous, so askew and so frighteningly unpredictable. He is the face on the other side of the mirror mocking us and making us turn away.
Unlike the manufacturer, we promote his agenda and fail to acknowledge his true purpose by excusing and justifying his actions. We deny his reality and instead promote his continued existence. There are those who serve his purpose and excuse their own actions in the name of fair play. We allow the malignancy to spread and pretend that all is well. Evil rears its ugly head and we decorate it with ornaments and baubles.
The soldiers of virtue far outnumber the destructive forces of evil, but we will never win the war as long as we turn away from the enemy. One dead child, one airplane falling from the sky in a fiery shower of twisted metal and charred remains, one building reduced to uneven chunks of concrete and powder are difficult battlefields on which to triumph. Instead, we must achieve victory on our terms. By properly managing evil when we see it, by diligently screening evil when we acknowledge it, and by creating an environment that does not allow hate and ignorance to fuel it.
KlaasKids Foundation P.O. Box 925, Sausalito, CA 94966
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