“Only ten?” A week ago, ten people, mostly teenagers, were murdered at a high school in southeastern Texas, and as many more were injured. And no one was surprised. In fact, many thought, “Only ten?”

I confess, I did.

What’s wrong with us? A lot, actually. But nothing that hasn’t been there all along. There’s a whiff of the monster about us, and there always has been.

My college girlfriend went to work at the admitting desk of a hospital emergency ward. The first week she came home with eyes rimmed red from weeping. The second week her eyes were dry but she spoke poignantly of the suffering she’d seen. Before long she had to strain to remember the carnage; she’d accepted it as normal, as a part of her job.

When the unthinkable becomes normal, we become inured to it. We have to. That’s how we survive. We stop screaming with outrage, we stop letting it disrupt our daily routine, and eventually we stop even noticing it. Atrocities like the Texas shooting happen throughout the world every day. Rape, torture, assault, murder—these are the norms in a broken world.

Evil exists. We can—we must—live with this reality, and our tears of outrage will do nothing to change it. But whether or not we weep, we must never cease to fight against it. Both in ourselves and in the world around us. The two are inseparable: Those who fight monsters are at risk of becoming monsters themselves. Always. But those who ignore monsters are already in the process of becoming one. So desensitize yourself, if you must,

But never stop fighting. 

“Hate the evil, love the good, and turn your courts into halls of justice. And then perhaps the LORD God of the heavenly hosts will have mercy on the remnant of his people.” ~Amos 5:15

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Desensitized?

  1. Cindy Dawson says:

    Well said, my friend! It reminds me of a quote I once heard, “When you show compassion for evil, you show disdain for the innocent.” Thank you for another great post.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I like this and hate it at the same time. Lord help us see with your heart. Let us see each act of evil as a direct attack on you.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Very true – it’s is very sad that the more visible these terrible acts become via social media/ international news, the more desensitised we become. It’s almost a case of ‘onto the next one’ 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  4. tiostib says:

    Well said. It is our daily challenge to live a courageous life of good and truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I heard once that evil in and of itself does not exist. It is like darkness. Not something, but rather the lack of something. The lack of God. If we keep God in our lives, keep love in our lives then there will be no place for evil. It is a hard fight, because it is individual. Most of what we can do is simply encourage each other so thanks for the encouragement.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Relax... says:

    I no longer watch the carnage, nor the recap, the recap, the recap, the indepth recap, the blow by blow recap.. etc. It doesn’t just give the media a rush (in the wallet, too), but it sets up the NEXT massacre. Don’t give these idiots the attention they crave — does that not make sense to anyone but me? By all means, let us all do our something about it, but let’s stop watching it, let’s stop talking about it, and for God’s sake, let’s stop others from making money off of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. smzang says:

    Thoughtful and wise, Mitch.

    I think the students who have witnessed these atrocities will make the difference.
    In a year or two their voice will be a vote for a product, for a person, for a way of
    life. They will pick their heroes and their politicians more carefully than we have
    and I’m betting that they will have the courage to bring about a change for the better.
    Pray it is so!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Within the past 10 years 57 thousand school age children took their own lives. Clearly, the problem is at least in part a lack of hope within our culture. That’s only possible if we fail to carry Christ in our hearts.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I will always stand up to monsters- and as I did, when a serial child molester was brought to justice, in 1993, go home from work and be with my family.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. brunniegetchell says:

    Thank You Mitch. Powerful and thought provoking. Curious how you think we should fight this evil in addition to prayers ? Gun Control ? More investment in mental health services?
    I worked in a school system for over 20 yrs and never really worried about a school shooter. Now my former colleagues are scared to death that a shooting can happen on any day at any moment 😦


    Liked by 2 people

  11. Mitch,
    Great post. Desensitivity is one of the winning factors set forth by the leaders of our Educational Systems. By controlling the Parent the student tends to follow. Our Creator is at work within people to restore Common Sense. We must continue to follow our Creator.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. We will never know the number of shootings prevented because of actions already taken. The greatest danger is to give in to despair believing that nothing can be done.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Excellent post. The world we live in has sadly become numb to the evil that lays waste of so many lives. Your post is well written and edifying.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ann Coleman says:

    Very wise words! Sometimes it is tempting to become numb, because then it hurts less. But the minute we do, we also stop caring and that is never acceptable. We have to resist evil, always and wherever we find it.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. “When the unthinkable becomes normal, we become inured to it.” Great post Mitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. hannahtk says:

    I cringe when people say, ‘we are all good people’. Sad and untrue. Thanks for the post Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I found myself thinking this same way recently and am so ashamed of myself. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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