Monday, September 25, 2006

Human Nature

I was walking to dinner tonight when I saw a man running towards me. A couple were chasing after him. The man finally caught up to him and pushed him into a sign, a table, and some chairs. They all went flying as he fell over each one after another. The man fell to the ground, but got back up. The man chasing him finally got a hold of him and tried to wrestle him to the ground using the absolute worst moves I've ever seen. Has this man ever seen a tackle before in his life? I wanted to yell, 'Go for his legs!' Finally another man ran up and helped. They worked him to the ground in a half-nelson. They then removed the stolen purse from his possession.

But unfortunately, that wasn't all. Like all too many people, these men were sure that two wrongs definitely did make a right. They held him to the ground and a few people took punches at him. They yelled what I'm sure were horrible things at him. By now, a huge crowd of rubberneckers had joined me in my rubbernecking. They then proceeded to remove his belt. I had no idea what they were doing, but I thought it couldn't be good. Were they going to strip him nude for embarrassment? Would they beat him with his belt?

As I cringed at the thought of what they would do next, a man came from behind. He wound up, and gave him a swift kick to the back of the head. You could hear the knock of his boot against his hard skull, and see his neck bounce. This is when I started to get upset. I was more shocked and scared until this point (this all happened just a few feet from me by the way). But I just wanted to yell at them to leave him alone.

Violence is so hard for me to both understand and watch. They moved his arm behind his back, and twisted into the position in which if they moved it another few degrees, it would snap. It was too painful to watch. I had to leave.

The cops had been called a few minutes ago, and I wanted to stay until they got there so I could at least pretend in my mind that the man would not be tortured anymore. Of course the police would beat him much worse, but if I could see him removed from this crowd, it would calm me down a little. But I couldn't stand to watch anymore.

As I left, I saw the man's face. It was blank. He didn't say a word. He had nothing to say. His face did not look angry, or sad, or in pain. He had accepted what will happen to him. He made one bad decision, and now his whole world is ending. He was the product of an unfair, cruel world that our greed had created, and made a confused, but understandable action. As I walked away, I was able to make eye contact. I looked at him in a way that said "I'm so sorry". I hope he understood.

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