By Karen Middleton
How many times in the past three weeks have we heard it said that tragedy brings out the best and worst in people?
As a community and as a state we have seen the best at work as thousands of volunteers converged on tornado ravaged sites to try to bring victims’ lives back in order.
“It’s just a God thing” is another saying that comes to our minds and lips during times like this. I’m not saying that the tornado was a God thing. A God thing is that unexplainable premonition that averts tragedy.
It’s making it through a green light a split second ahead of someone running a red light from another direction. It’s that stroke of unforeseen fortune that resolves a problem or helps one to reach a long sought goal.
It’s also a God thing that brings people together to help strangers in their time of greatest need but in a different way. It’s not happenstance. Benevolence is the better angel of our natures.
But then we come to the part about tragedy bringing out the worst in people. A couple of weeks ago The News Courier in an editorial called on “scum” who loot tornado sites to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
So it’s already been said that this is a reprehensible practice. But with each new report of looting, we feel the squeamishness that comes with the realization that this is also a part of human nature.
We so abhor this act that we cannot even claim it as a human trait. We call the perpetrators bottom feeders, pond scum, vultures and leeches.
Prospects are bleak that we can tap into what we would like to think of as humanity in these individuals. So in the meantime, if you see looting occurring, report it without delay.
Make those who feed off the misfortune of others answer for their crimes in court.