Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the ‘True Human’
Most of you would probably be enraged at me for posting this, and perhaps even think of me as a teenage girl (though I’m 22) that finds fame to be very manly or attractive, but this is completely how I feel, and for me to post anything less than that seems like hypocrisy.
“An enemy is someone whose story you do not know.” -Jewish Proverb
When I was younger and first heard about Ted Bundy, I didn’t want anything to do with him. I didn’t want to learn about him, hear about him, or read about him. I figured he was just some crazed killer that had no conscience and no heart. However, I recently began reading about serial killers because I still found them fascinating, and now that I’m older, I know that each had a story. I even read “The Stranger Beside Me,” Anne Rule’s personal account of her interactions with Bundy. I also saw the personal interview some guy, I can’t remember who right now, had with him. And after reading and seeing all this, for the first time I saw pain in his story. Sure, perhaps even from the time he was born, he was predisposed to becoming a killer (he even played with knives when he was about three years old with his 15-year-old aunt while she was sleeping).
But there was pain in his eyes.
After the bombing in Boston, I was appalled that someone could do such a thing. But at the same time, I knew that the brothers had a reason for doing it, even if it was that they were just bored (which is a horrible reason, but a reason nonetheless). For a long time, I kept these thoughts to myself, until I heard someone say the words I had wanted to say for a long time.
Ronny Edry came to Salt Lake Community College to create posters with the students, staff, and faculty. (Search his name on Google, and you will find information about him, including a talk he did on TED Talks.)
When asked about the bombing in Boston, Edry said that he would want the United States to invite the brothers to get to know each other because they each had a story. He said that he wanted us to hear their story, whatever it was. When I heard this, I wanted to weep for joy: SOMEONE UNDERSTOOD what I was feeling! I have heard long ago that there are so many conflicts in this world because of lack of understanding. I think that’s right. If we tried a little harder to understand each other, we would all live more peacefully because I believe deep down, each human being wants more peace in the world, even if they have to fight for it, even if they have to use violence.
I hear so many reactions and comments to the man Tsarnaev. But most of them include things like, “He is a terrorist,” “I don’t want to look at his face or hear his name,” or “I don’t want to hear his story because he is less than human.” Each of these comments makes me want to cringe, especially the last one.
So here is the controversial part of my post: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a human being. He has a story to share, whether he wants to share it or not, whether he knows it or not.
I am not condoning what he did or saying that he would be the kind of person I would want to marry (because he’s not; there have recently been an uproar that young girls on the Internet are starting to sympathize with him and that they think him ‘dreamy,’ and most of the adults are appalled by this reaction). I am only saying that the world needs to understand that not everything is black and white. For a long time, I always thought that the world already did understand that, but after this incident, everybody is saying that this man and his brother were evil, plain and simple. No turning around, no pauses. They were evil and were not even humans.
In my opinion, only a person that would ever accuse another person as being less than human, those are the people that are less than human. We need a new human being, one that sees every other person as human beings, no matter who they are or what they’ve done. We need to change our way of thinking and start UNDERSTANDING each other! If the entire world adopted this view, the entire world would be so much better off! Why is it so difficult to do?? WHY???
Kierkegaard’s idea of a higher human was someone that held strongly to their inner passions, no matter how strongly everyone else opposed it or misunderstood it. They are somehow higher than the average human, the human that follows conventions just because they were conventions. So I want to be the Knight of Faith (Kierkegaard’s term for the higher human, following his/her inner passions) on this issue.
The people that believe that another person was less than human because of something they did are themselves less than human in the respect that humans should understand. Perhaps the human race has not even reached the point of becoming true humans. In my view, a human is a person that is able to understand that others are humans too, no matter who they are or what they’ve done. Perhaps we need to raise our awareness and become true humans, people that can understand that even people like Bundy, Hitler, and Tsarnaev were humans too, to understand that they all had feelings, desires, hopes, in short, stories, just like the rest of us.
I am calling for a true understanding to manifest itself in each of us!
I am calling for the True Human inside each of us to rise up (and take over the world)!
Only when the True Human rises up in ALL OF US can the world begin to see something that resembles peace!