We’ve had some time to get more facts and process the brutal attack which happened just above us. I’ve been able to see the many ways people react to this sort of thing. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Carina, though we admit this is a small gesture.
Before I jump to my typical judgments, I pause. “You have heard it was said to the ancients, ‘Do not murder,’ and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” Who knows what atrocities, if any, the assailant went through as a child. I spent many years in a counseling role, and if there’s one thing I learned is that some people have to deal with incredible trauma. While not undermining anyone else’s struggles, and at the same time not alleviating the individual of responsibility, I know that some people have the cards stacked against them much more than others. In no way at all do I want to minimize this crime. I just don’t want to be too quick to point the finger.
I must ask myself if in my heart whether or not I have brought strife into the lives of another. Am I not equally as guilty on some level though maybe in varying degree? Do I get to draw my own line of moral codes to suit me and make me feel better about myself when I compare myself to others? Do we sometimes bend our own code (standards) in order to appear better, or faster, or stronger than others? I can be quick to judge others, but I should be careful knowing I am often more susceptible than I think to similar attitudes.
We still don’t have all the details, but most are being brought to the light. There is still a boyfriend in the picture that we haven’t heard from, and I’m not sure the family has spoken or reached out.
We see blatently that evil does exist. “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” She let the perpetrator in, doing something she believed to be good in her heart. She had a trusting and hopeful personality, and we do not blame her for that. At the same time, not learning a lesson from life’s greatest teacher experience, leaves us incomplete and susceptible to repeating a possible mistake. After letting the would-be attacker in, she then turned her back on him to continue working out. He was not wearing workout clothes, it was 2:30 in the morning, and she was alone. I don’t want to belabor the point, but there is plenty to be learned here.
Even though we are probably more safe in the building now than we were before, we may no longer feel safe. We often make decisions based on feelings, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. “I’ve got my mind made up! Don’t confuse me with the facts!” So we ask if there’s anything we can do to help. So much of self defense is awareness, presence, composure, and assertiveness. At some level, we teach these in the gym: be aware of your surroundings, control your area, focus under pressure, etc.
To help in maybe a more specific way, we will be working with the building in order to be able to provide a self defense seminar in the near future for residents and maybe neighbors. The building will also be looking at how they can increase security. For the time being, a police officer has been assigned to our building through the nights.
The opposite of taking another’s life is the laying down of your own life for your friend, family, or neighbor. Though we are often quick to separate ourselves from the lot of murders, do we lay down our life (not necessarily in a literal sense) for those around us, or are we content to simply not take the life of others while still living selfishly?