We stagger once again from the killing of innocents.
On Monday, April 15, we saw the murder and maiming of participants and bystanders at the Boston Marathon.
The sheer senselessness of it has turned our lives upside down. The brutality. The meaninglessness. The callousness. The horror.
The how and the why, the where and the when, the how many... nothing makes it less painful. Or more.
It simply pierces the heart.
The fact that we have suffered other massacres of innocents in recent months and years, over and over again, makes it no less difficult to accept this one. It feels as raw and cruel as the first one, or the next... or the next.
It makes no sense. Men, women, children... young and old... get mowed down while going about their daily lives, doing ordinary things. At random.
The sanctity of what they are doing at the moment seems to offer them no protection.
A place of worship.
A sports meet.
A shopping mall.
And now, the finish line of an athletic event.
I don't understand the pathology that gives birth to the madness that authors such tragedies.
Wars, I can understand.
I can also understand that it is right to defend oneself and protect others.
I understand that opposite sides in the same war can truly believe that good and even God is on their side... both of them.
I don't condone them. But I can understand them.
But this raising of hands against innocents?
I don't understand it.
What good could possibly come from it, no matter how righteous the cause? How can the oppressed resort to the same methods as the oppressor? Because then, where is the line that divides the two.
Isn't this what they mean when they say that the end can never justify the means? No matter how great or pure or urgent the cause, the murder of innocents simply cannot be the path to justice.
No matter how hungry, how can we snatch a morsel from a starving child? And then, expect to feel satiated. Or healthy.
No matter how justifiable our claim, how can we throw a family out on the street and occupy their home? Having made the other homeless, you can't ever enjoy the shade of a shelter.
No matter how committed we are to our faiths, to kill another to proclaim the supremacy of our beliefs reveals nothing but paucity of substance.
These adages have been coined to rein in the high and the mighty, the rich and the powerful, the tyrant and the oppressor.
But they apply no less to those who have been wronged.
There are no ifs and buts about it: the outrage in Boston this week is a crime against humanity.