The other day while putting together another questionably stellar post, Ten things about me (oh, and my Biblical failures), I was struck by Commandment #6. You know it?
The one about murder? Thou shall not put a gun to thy neighbor’s head and pull the trigger?
I reflexively answered NO WAY, never, not me. I mean, I’ve done some rather suspect things in my life, some shadier than others, but I’ve never, never, murdered. Never even toyed with the idea.
And I got to thinking as I frequently do while I find myself staring at the blank white Word Press template screen. Thinking, my curse.
How can I so readily and proudly assert that I am not a murderer?
How do I know that?
Is it not so far-fetched to note that the billions of lives currently sharing space on this planet are intertwined and entangled in a mass of overlapping and colliding paths and pasts and futures and that, considering the infinite mass of humanity that somehow, somewhere, someone is performing a seemingly trivial action, which by a series of connected qualities, affects the life of another far away in distance and time?
Remember that whole “6 degrees of…” stuff that floated around a few years ago in which some geniuses linked together disparate public figures and their 6th degree separation from Kevin Bacon?
Of course we are linked. Is it not feasible that something I do this minute may, through a random and not-so-random series of events affect you in a week? I think it’s quite possible.
So considering this, is it not likely that many of us are actual murderers? Obviously not directly, or even second-hand, but maybe 300-hand or 1,500-hand; perhaps some of us have unwittingly contributed to a stranger’s demise simply because of a path or action we chose and which set in motion a strange series of domino-like ripple of events that resulted in the premature (or not) death of someone around the planet, 6 months later?
And I thought, is it not presumptuous of me to stand on the soapbox and bask in my alleged non-homicidalness? Of course it’s presumptuous. Who knows how many people I’ve killed by now just because of some lame-brain, inconsequential choices I’ve made.
Doubt me? Not sure what I’m yakking about?
Let’s put this into literary practice.
I’m going to begin to write a story. A story which I will gradually build upon, like a bricklayer builds a wall. I will begin with sentence one. An inconsequential event, which, viewed superficially, looks decidedly non-noteworthy. But which will, in the matter of 3 or 4 months and maybe thousands of miles, result in the death of a soccer player from Cameroon.
How does that grab ya?
And I’ll do it in 500 1000 words.