Knowing and Doing
The following is an excerpt from an article in the Fort Worth (Texas, USA) newspaper “Star Telegram”, written by Deanna Boyd. Names have been omitted due to the age of the individual at the center of this article.
On Oct. 4, 2012, [X] called 911, telling a dispatcher, “Uh, I just killed my mom and my sister….”I felt like they were just suffocating me, in a way,” he told the dispatcher, according to a recording of the 911 call. “Obviously, you know, I’m pretty, I guess, evil.”
Responding Parker County deputies found [a woman] and her daughter dead of multiple gunshot wounds inside the house on [XX] Lane in [subdivision and town]. The young man was arrested at the scene. In a written statement, he told investigators that he had devised a plan to kill several family members after watching [a] remake of the movie “Halloween,” in which a boy murders relatives.
“While watching it I was amazed at how at ease the boy was during the murders and how little remorse he had afterward,” [X] wrote in his statement. “I was thinking to myself, it would be the same for me when I kill someone.”
Sheriff’s officials have said [X] used a gun stolen from his grandfather, a retired Fort Worth officer, to commit the slayings. [X] told investigators that he had intended to later kill his grandparents and two other sisters. But after the slayings of his mom and sister, [X] — in a state he described as “very shocked and scared” — instead placed the gun on the kitchen counter and called 911.
“I know now though that I’m done with killing. It’s the most dreadful and terrifying thing I will ever experience. And what happened last night will haunt me forever.”
We think we know so much and especially as young adults and teenagers, we can be intensely certain that we think we know something. Philosophy is about the “knowing” but how do we know? Sadly, many cult leaders never give their followers the chance to reflect upon their actions. These misguided young people searching for knowledge and truth are sacrificed for the greed and egos of others.
Philosophy is about the search for knowledge and it is a search conducted without a great deal of physical action, just mental. For that reason, many disdain it and consider it, to borrow from Shakespeare, “much ado about nothing”. Some say that about spiritual sects and religious denominations and faiths.
We study to prevent knowledge from passing us by, from slipping through the hours of our living. The ancient philosophers saw the world moving on and asked why. We need to question our daily actions in the same way. Did what I do yesterday have value? Did I connect with another, friend or stranger? Was there a purpose for my being?
We will continue to delve into the answers and ways of answering such questions. Who, what, how, why… These are the realm philosophy travels. We will each have our own answers and paths of both learning and exploration. The future is, after all, ours to construct and write.
Hopefully, we will connect with others and thrive. Hopefully, others will look back upon their connections with us and be thankful for them. Mostly, though I hope you never feel what this young man has felt. “It’s the most dreadful and terrifying thing I will ever experience. And what happened last night will haunt me forever.”
Life is not about being haunted. Life is for living and living for the best outcomes for all of mankind. Enjoy today. Live your faith. Exist, believe ,rejoice. Mostly, I hope you smile – at another but also at yourself.