What Flips the Switch

A horrific story posted on Facebook informed me that June 24th is the anniversary of a mass murder. I’ll let you read the article for yourself. It’s hard, to read something like this and understand that it actually happened. That it wasn’t some piece of awful fiction.

My comments to the post were:

 Jesus… I just can’t imagine… well, I don’t know what to say except this hurts my heart and makes me wonder if we are all actually humans. Maybe some who walk amongst are just shells -containers for hate and evil.”


This has had me thinking and wondering all day long… what happens inside the mind to create an attitude of hate at the level required to kill? I remember being exposed to racism as a kid. The first time I met a gay person it didn’t occur to me to hate them. They were so sweet and wonderful, I could only respond in kind. The hate switch didn’t get flipped in my head. Why not? What flips that switch in other people? Surely somebody has done a study on this and ruled out environmental factors as a single root cause. So what happens to the people who hate? If there isn’t a study, well some academics need to get to fucking work so that we can then figure out how to never, ever flip that switch.”

I want to understand what happens to people to make them behave in such heinous ways. I suppose there are multiple opportunities for the human mind to turn sour and rot to the degree that the mind’s owner comes to believe it’s okay to inflict pain on those thought of as different or less than.

But why do some humans turn into monsters and others – most, thankfully – maintain their humanity?

What are the contributing factors?

Can they be identified? Avoided?

I have the beginnings of some theories rolling around in my head about what could save a person. But the person… they have to want the saving. I imagine that once you pass a certain point in the blackening of your psyche, it’s hard to get past that exoskeleton to let the light in. So I suppose one crucial aspect is timing. Catch the poison before it kills the human part of the body.

I don’t know and I want to because shit like this still happens. Huge numbers of people are still murdered just because their killers don’t like their victim’s skin color or their God(s) or their choices.

Can you believe it? In this day and age when despite what the media would have you believe, there is opportunity for every living being on this planet to have a decent life.

Hell, you don’t even have to enjoy a decent life. Think about how many people endure the most awful of circumstances and they still see and claim happiness for themselves.

Maybe… ya know, I really just don’t know. But maybe part of the solution is to debunk, once and for all that happiness is an elusive, hard to achieve thing only available to a lucky, select few.


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