Saturday: A space shuttle was lost! This is so sad...
Sunday: If I hear one more thing about that damn shuttle I am going to throw something, I'm sick of you self-centered Americans ignoring the world when busloads of israeli children are killed and then wanting us to all morn when you hurt yourselves trying to prove how fantastic you are...
I thought a lot about yesterday's events, why they impacted me the way they did, and how we as a society pause longer to consider the loss of some lives.
I was truly sad when those astronauts died yesterday. I am also sad when I think about how many thousands of African children die of AIDS. I'm sad when civilians go out shopping in Isreal and are killed by a suicide bomber.
In all cases, the people should not have died. In all cases, someone probably could have done something, even if we aren't sure what it is. In all cases, human lives have been taken, and that is truly a tragedy. But what for? Was life taken because we were striving for something better? Fighting for something?
Or was it taken simply because we have failed as a human race?
These wars in the middle east, this famine and disease in third world countries... I don't see how it can ever end. No one here, reading this journal entry, is doing everything possible to prevent it. Would you sell your computer to feed the hungry? Would you give up your life in your cushioned shelter to wave flies off a dying child in the desert? Obviously you haven't, and neither have I. Maybe it's what we should do, I'm sure I should give it more consideration than I have.
But the situation seems hopeless.
So we'd rather think about astronauts. They died for science. So that man could be great, see the stars, visit other worlds. We'd rather think about Tiananmen Square. Students died, to be free. These glimpses give us hope... that people are willing to give up everything to improve our race and take us further. That sometimes, the loss of life happens because we try so hard (instead of being taken, because we didn't try hard enough).
I don't know what our race is destined to become, and I don't know what to think. I just feel like, as a scientist, the men and women who were lost yesterday died for my cause... for things I understand. For things I can do something about.
Sorry to sound so melodramatic, but I don't think you can blame me for wanting to feel how I do.