Sunday, June 24, 2012

How Did Stuff Become More Important Than A Human Life?

It is rare nowadays that I watch or listen to the news or read the newspaper. I stopped because really the only thing that changed from day to day was the date on the top of the newspaper or the date of the newscast. The crimes and negative actions were the same. Now when I say stopped, I don’t mean completely as I do skim enough to keep current with what is going on in the world and enough to be conversational about any topic. Much of what I learn about what is happening in the world I gather from talk radio or one of the various social media forums. But this morning while I had a little time, I checked one of my news apps on my Ipad and came across a story that truly saddened me. Not because I had not heard of stories like this before, but because I had and far too often. It was the story of a man losing his life over a material possession; a car.  The story read as follows:

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork)  A school bus driver who was in a coma after being beaten by an angry motorist, died on Friday night. Juan DelValle was taken off of life support shortly after 6:00 PM. DelValle’s bus accidentally side-swiped a parked car, sending the owner into a punching and knocking rage that sent DelValle to the ground, with his head hitting the pavement. Doctors said he has permanent brain damage and his family could take him off life support later this week. A surveillance video captured the entire incident, in which the driver of the car punched DelValle and sent him flying into the pavement. DelValle was planning to retire from driving the school bus at the end of this school year. His family is waiting until after an autopsy is complete, to plan a funeral.

As I read the story, my heart went out to that family who has now lost a husband, a father, a grandfather, an uncle, cousin, friend, etc. etc. because  he accidentally side-swiped a parked car. The operative word is accidentally.  Do I understand how one could be angry because his/her vehicle was damaged? Yes I do, but to the point of getting into enough of a rage to kill someone because of it? No I don’t.  On Thanksgiving Day 2010, my truck was totaled while parked on the street by someone who was either drunk or just lost control of their vehicle and while I was not happy about the loss, I did not seek to beat anyone down much less kill the driver. My insurance company took care of it and in fact I wound up with the same model and year of the vehicle I had lost.
What can this car owner possibly say to the DelValle family? In my mind…….. nothing. There are no words or excuses to explain his behavior or the loss of Mr. DelValle’s life. Ironically, Mr. DelValle was looking to retire and most likely was on nearly his last run. I am sure he and his family had plans to enjoy his retirement, plans that are now dashed as a result of one senseless act because of a material possession. When are we going to learn that we can replace things, but we cannot replace people?  This is a sad story but what makes it even sadder is the fact that it is happening more and more frequently. Folks we can replace stuff but we cannot replace lives. Something to critically think about.  I invite your response as always in the comment section of the blog.

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