Last week, there was a horrific crime about an hour from Columbus. I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say that a 13-year-old girl was rescued alive while her mother, 11-year-old brother, a female family friend, and the family dog were found stashed in trash bags inside a hollow tree.
I wonder if the girl would have been better off if she had died before watching or being aware of her family members' deaths one by one. I can't even imagine how a 13-year-old would survive being tied up, gagged and held in a man's basement, much less having seen what she saw.
And then I wondered how one man could capture four people. Wouldn't someone have broken free? Couldn't someone have made a run for it?
I wonder if we aren't conditioned to give criminals what they want in the hopes we'll get out alive.
Yet, women are told, if someone points a gun at you and tells you to get in a vehicle, run for it. Your odds are much better if you resist being alone with the criminal.
And I think that's what I would do now in almost any situation with a criminal -- resist in the hopes that someone gets out alive. If there are two of us, we can both run for it and one of us may survive.
I know crimes like this are extremely rare and most people will never have to face the choice of fighting or placating a criminal.
I do not for one minute want to blame the victims.
Yet, I think back to the Jewish people who dug the pits and stood naked alongside waiting to be shot by the Nazis. Maybe they thought it would be different for them. Maybe they remained hopeful. Or maybe they were filled with despair and thought they had no choice. "Resistance is futile."
I guess, having read about the evil that some people are capable of, I would run for it.
Then I thought about the people on that plane during Sept. 11, 2001. The one that had been highjacked and when the passengers realized that other planes were being flown into buildings, they led an insurgency. The people on that plane all died, but they may have saved the lives of thousands in a building somewhere. And, the passengers could have survived. They could have taken over the plane and landed. Even though they died, they were heroes.
These morbid thoughts led me to Dylan Thomas' famous line: "Do not go gentle into that good night."
Of course, he was talking about growing old and dying, but maybe it's worth the fight to make sure you grow old.
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