Thursday, August 2, 2007

Common Killers

Being a funeral director has taken me to cities and states where I have been needed and has brought me to a few very interesting localities. Over the years I have lived and served in "inner cities", "suburbs", "small towns", "medium sized towns" and "rural" communities. Each of these areas have impressed me in some way; all have left me with good memories as well as some bad memories. I have been very fortunate throughout the years because the good memories far outweigh the bad.

The commonality that each of these locations share however, is of course taxes and likewise, death. Though when these two things are broken down, drilled into, they show a slight difference that can only be seen when compared to one another. On their own they don't seem any different; how could they? Taxes are taxes and death is death but for instance, there is no comparison to the costs of living in a large city as opposed to a rural area. There is no comparison between the types of friendships that occur while living in the suburbs as opposed to living in an urban area. From my small amount of "experience" there is also no comparison to the types of death that occur on a regular basis in any of these communities either.

When I lived in a large city, it was not uncommon for a death to occur due to extreme violence between humans. I'm sure that some psychologist could explain the dynamics of living in a city and how they affect the people that live within its boundaries. I can only explain what I saw, not what I think or have studied; I saw a lot of deaths due to poverty, oppression and outright rage.

Small towns had the same living conditions on a reduced scale and it appeared as if the same violent deaths were also on a smaller scale, a smaller ratio, while violent deaths in rural areas were even fewer. There's no doubt in my mind that when people are crammed together, especially people who need more than what they can earn, tempers easily flare out of control and the unfortunate result is often death. It's easy to sit back and read a newspaper or watch the news on television and criticize someone who commits a heinous offense simply because we can't understand how the offender could possibly do such a thing; especially when we're not accustomed to the conditions that the specific individual has been living in. Please don't mistake my thinking as being condoning because it's not, it's more like warped understanding. In order for these common violent deaths to end, which by the way have been happening for all eternity, there has to be a total commonality of all people. Period.

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