Teaspoon of Happy We Weep Together; Or, How to Regain Some Faith In Humanity Sarah May Bates

It’s pretty much impossible to say “feel better” in the face of the purest definition of tragedy. I will instead offer what I believe to be a context in which to place this tragedy, so that we can begin to cope. That context is, specifically, what it means to be human.

A human is a product of their experiences and the lessons they’ve been taught by factors in their life. A human has feelings and emotions, some that cause them to be elated and some that cause them immense amounts of pain. A human even has the capacity to feel the emotions of another. A human works to overcome hardship and through that, inspires strength in others. A human strives to communicate: to understand others and be understood. A human creates artistic reflections of their inner self so that they can share it with the world. A human tries and sometimes fails without the right tools to help them. And a human learns from their mistakes and aspires to be better. A human feels pain when they hurt another. A human has a spirit and a light that only they possess, and that makes some funny, some introverted, some sweet, and some brazen.

A human can love and be loved. They can see into the soul of another and love them more than they love themselves. A human can keep the understanding of another’s spirit, and that spirit can grow inside them and become a part of who they are forever.

Those who commit acts of violence and take the lives of others are not human. They are bodies that carry broken computers. Though they appear human, they don’t have the ability to feel what humans feel. And they do not have the capacity to understand what humans understand. Which is why they can commit acts that defy our understanding. And the capacity to feel, cannot be learned. There can be many causes of this void of a soul, which to a human, are tragic in their own way, but not to a broken computer. Because without a soul a person does not have the vital logic needed to exist in society. A soul is what gives us the ability to understand the real value of life.

As a human we can share so much strength without even knowing it. We can give of ourselves to our fellow humans, just by letting our hearts rest with them, and by understanding the pain that they feel. In the face of such tremendous loss, we can embrace that we feel so much for the families that suffer, and that we wish we could take their suffering away.

We can think of them, feel love for them, send prayers to them, and send wishes of relief to them. And we can take some comfort in knowing that we truly mourn the losses of people we don’t even know, because we are human.

Sending much love to everyone in Connecticut, especially those who have suffered such great losses, xox Sarah

Featured image Copyright Lauri Burns and The Teen Project

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  1. Sarah I miss your posts!! When is the next one??? :)

  2. Not sure what to say other than I respect everyone’s opinion (and see much truth to all of them) and I am very sorry if anyone took offense to mine. I know it’s definitely a sensitive subject and one that’s almost impossible to make sense of without emotions coming into play. You could say I speak in a lot of “hyperbolic metaphor” so that I can better process the shock of such events – it is something I wanted to offer to others – if, and only if, it would help them to ease the pain, too. To end on a positive note, I am at least glad to read so much dialogue around the posting, because at least with open discussion comes understanding – and with understanding, eventually, comes change for the better. xoxo Sarah

  3. I agree but you can’t really say that murders and criminals aren’t human, because they are. People are so varied, and they became that way because of circumstance, don’t look down on these people when easily all of us ‘sane’ people could be exactly the same.

  4. Em part I agree this human spirit, but you have to refine that love and hate are two sides of the same coin, sadism and sentimentality, are complementary. We can kill and still loving life (soldier), we can not escape the fact that man is a being of contrasts, for me that’s not the problem, but be able coinciliar your identity with nature

  5. Wrong. This man was a human too, likely with severe mental health issues. To ignore the fact that some humans have severe mental issues and disturbances is what caused this tragedy in the first place. We have not taken care of our mentally disturbed. Our resources to the mentally ill are just not up to par. Mentally ill are regarded as broken, disgusting, deranged individuals – so they hide and they get worse and worse until they snap. And those who DO seek help through therapy, medications, etc. have to deal with insurance not covering what they need, high medical bills, and eventually give up. What happened to those children SHOULD NOT have happened. At all. I cried along with many, and tried to make sense of this. But what we have to acknowledge is that he WAS a human being – a human being did this. A human being was capable of it.
    That being said, our focus now should be on coming together to support and help the families in need. Donations to pay for funerals, community support for counseling and therapy for the children and staff who witnessed the attack. And hopefully soon, acknowledging that we need both better mental health resources and stricter gun control in this country.

    • I completely agree with you. My familys insurance provider was actually breaking the law, not covering our mental health care. Fortunately my mother was smart and brave enough to try and stand up to them, but I think, what if she didn’t and my sisters didnt get the help they needed? What if this health care provider is doing the same thing to others who don’t know about that aspect of the law? What if they hear that they arent human and withdraw totally, just because our perceptions of mental illness are totally screwed up? Sarah, you make some great points, but I think I have to disagree with your article as a whole.

    • Agreed. Thank you for saying this. Counseling is the most valuable thing a person can have. I wonder if the shooter had any. At this point- his victims most definitely should.

  6. That’s not logical at all. Maybe you’re not being serious when saying what you did about broken computers. Humans have been responsible for horrible, horrible things throughout history, as well as selfless and noble things. You can’t just conveniently pick and choose which homo sapiens get to be crowned with the term “human”. I would say that aside from literally belonging to the same species, having a soul and “a knowledge of good and evil” is more what makes us human. Humanity as a whole has major flaws. If we didn’t, THEN we would be those computers you referred to, unable to do anything other than that for which we were programmed. Our different, individual minds and the ability to choose to do right is in my opinion the true badge of humanity. That being said, I would never minimize the seriousness of this recent tragedy by merely categorizing it as typical of human evil. I’m glad you are feeling for them, as we all should; just respectfully disagreeing with your rhetoric.

    • YOU ARE SO RIGHT STEPHANIE

    • I don’t think it was a technical point. I think what Sarah meant to say was that humanity is defined by our compassion. Sure, we are all humans, noone defies that. But I thought – and I may be wrong, that’s just my perception – that “human” is treated here as a being of higher intelligence, capable of noble emotions and compassion and respect to others. That is to say, that “human” as a title does not refer to the homo sapiens that we all are, but gets a positive quality that cannot be given to those who break the rules of compassion, respect and morality and practice violence, especially in such horribly extreme demontrations.

      • I understand she’s not being literally literal, but I still disagree with her opinion. I think you’re arguing that it’s the best of humanity that earns a person the title “human”; I’m saying that it’s the moral failures as well as the successes that differentiates us from animals. Or robots.

  7. Such beautiful and true words!
    It’s horrendous, what happened there, it’s unspeakable. I’ll pray for the victims’ families to have the strength to go through their unimaginable pain. I really hope that there won’t be any more tragedies like that.

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