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What the Morally Bankrupt in our Society says about Us.
Yesterday, my country was rocked by reports that six bandits, in a brazen heist, shot and killed two security guards transporting money from a business establishment on behalf of their employer, a private security firm. The attack occurred at a shopping plaza, causing shoppers to scurry for safety. One school boy was grazed in the cheek by a stray bullet. A third security guard was hospitalized and is said to be in a critical condition.
There have since been unconfirmed reports that the attack was planned and that one employee of the business establishment sent a text message to cohorts, alerting them of the transfer and thereby making it possible for them to intercept the security vehicle, rain down bullets, and scramble away with bags of money, leaving several families to mourn.
Approximately one hour after the hit, police officers, responding to a distress call, cornered the suspects at a private residence in a neighboring community. Shots rang out and when the smoke cleared, four of the six alleged bandits were dead, one was arrested and taken into custody, and one escaped and is on the run.
Among the evidence gathered included a text message purportedly sent from one of the alleged bandits to another, notifying them of their plans to engage in the heist. The events that unfolded were so incredulous, my friends, that I feel the need to insert this here: This is a true and developing story.
Of course, in this age of instant communications, mere moments after the attack, videos were circulating on social media, and we, the consuming public, attended cinema without a movie ticket, gripped by the unfolding scenes reminiscent of maybe Ocean's 11 and up, Fast and Furious, or any of the other movies that glorifies the renegade rebel throwing a middle finger up to the law. The sad thing here though is that the victims of this heinous crime were regular folk working for negligible wages, clocking ridiculous hours, struggling to get by, and risking their lives for the fortunes of others. There are other victims. The scarred and traumatized child. The bystanders, shoppers.
There is no hero story in greed.
And we, the consuming public, attended cinema without a movie ticket, gripped by the unfolding scenes reminiscent of a low budget, B movie.
Today, there is a stench in the air, as we grapple with and try to make sense of yesterday's bloodshed.
In some quarters, angry fingers are pointed at the government. Why aren't proactive systems put in place? Our country has had sufficient funds over the years to provide better social programs, why aren't they in place? There is a need to overhaul our education system. The recidivism rate in our country is too high, our prisons aren't adequately equipped for rehabilitation, etc. This list is long.
In some quarters, fingers are pointed at the homes of the criminals as allegations circulate that the insider who alerted yesterday's bandits was actually a parent of one of the killers. And so, we question the structure and value systems of the home. There are calls in to radio stations alerting the nation to pray, lamenting that evil stalks the land, etc.
But as we wash our rage down with the soda of the day, we, the consuming public continue to circulate the videos, blood and gore clips serving as video game trailers I'd say, or affording a sneak peak into the depravity of our world.
And still, in all of our outrage, no one proposes to examine the role we play as a collective. A chain, I was told as a child, is as strong as its weakest link, and so, when criminal activities like this occur in our countries and communities, we cannot simply wash our hands like Pontius Pilate and lift our noses high enough to escape the stench. It is not enough to say, it is them and not I. We cannot insulate ourselves.
And so, the question, I think, is what does the morally bankrupt of our society say about us? As we have forged ahead with technological developments, somehow our moral and spiritual core has been starved, and we have forgotten the fundamentals, we have lost our grip of and appreciation for right and wrong.
Our empire is crumbling. And by this, I am not speaking to imperialism, but rather to our claim as humans sitting at the top of the animal kingdom. If we are to survive, we must be prepared to set aside our differences and to ALL take ownership of and responsibility for the ills in our society and, rather than circulating videos and sharing a comment of commiseration or two, we must be prepared to conscientiously work together at ALL levels of society to correct them. Events like these should not become the norm.