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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Liviu Librescu and the Abandonment of Self-Interest

I have been meaning to post this fine blog for a couple of weeks, now. It was written by a truly great MySpace Blogger, "A wanna-be-Socrates," otherwise known as Paul. Paul has a great mind (except for those lapses when he finds himself in disagreement with me) and a great wit. (A note: Paul's language can be a bit extreme on occasion. His passion for topics can get the better of his verbal acumen. Viewer discretion is advised.)

This blog, though, is on a serious topic: the Virginia Tech shootings. Actually, not so much the shootings themselves. These have been plundered and exploited by many and then dropped when the channels began to be changed. This blog is on a hero of the tragedy, and man whose name should be touted and revered to young people as an example of goodness, and yet is not known by many. I wanted to do my part to share his story, and to share it will all of you. Thank you Paul for pointing it out to me, and your readers, and allowing me to share it with mine. I offer if for your reflection and your edification. Thanks Paul for your hard work, and thanks for letting me borrow it for my blog.

Questions and comments are welcome, as per usual.

God love you!

Liviu Librescu
and the
Abandonment of Self-Interest

Cable News Channels, when they do saturation coverage of a mass killing, must mention the names of the heroes who sacrificed their lives to save others at least four times for each hour devoted to the atrocity. And with each mention it must be said how admirable they are, how saintly they are, and how everyone should remember their names and what they did. If their names happen to be difficult to pronounce, then the news anchors should pronounce them even more frequently and with the slow deliberation of Fred Rogers. After every mention of their names and the magnificent things they did for the sake of love of their fellow human beings, the anchors must express the hope they will have the same courage those people had should they ever find themselves confronted with inexorable evil.

I say all this because although I learned about Professor Librescu and his tremendous heroism from MSNBC, I have not heard his name mentioned once during the two hours I have been listening to the talking heads of that channel. No, they've devoted all that time to vain attempts at plumbing the depths of that deranged clod's mind. His mind was evil. Evil is the absence of rationality and that means it is by definition incomprehensible. All this coverage of this monster and his megalomaniacal manifesto will do is tell wanna-be copycat clods that if they do what this clod did, they will dominate the News Cycle as Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold did eight years ago.
Yes, Matt Lauer and others will do pieces on Liviu Librescu, and that is, of course, to their credit. But it is not nearly enough. This pieces will be at most three minutes in length, and that's nothing compared to the endless mastubatory psychobabble that is now being vomited. And Liviu Librescu's abandonment of his own self-interest is a veritable conundrum in a society premised upon individual self-interest. This deserves more than a hagiographical cameo. This merits lengthy discussion at the very least.

Professor Librescu apparently did not think twice about blocking that door to protect his students. He did not care about his life because he was too worried about the lives of others. I want to plumb the depths of that mind. I want to know how a man can hear bullets and not do what I would do. I would run for the windows without the slightest care for my fellow victims. I would be looking out for myself. And I am supposed to be a Christian. I am supposed to imitate Christ. I am supposed to be ready to give my life for anyone because Christ gave His for everyone. Liviu Librescu was Jewish, and yet he imitated Christ much better than I can ever hope to do, and from all reports he did so without any hesitation.

I just heard Matt Lauer's piece on Professor Librescu. It was under two minutes that came with some vapid psychobiological assertion that heroic tendencies are in our minds and DNA. If we are all wired to be heroes, then why are so many of us at bottom selfish bastards? If it is in our natures to live for the benefit of others, then that is what we should do. That is our teleology, but obviously a great many of us live for our own gain. Professor Librescu has given us an important lesson on how a true human acts in the presence of incomprehensible evil. If Chris Matthews, Tucker Carlson, Joe Scarborough et al. really want us to help us make sense of this bloody massacre, then they would discuss in depth and at length the actions of Professor Librescu, instead of having us wallow in that monster's psychic excrement.

1 comment:

off the farm said...

'Evil is the absence of rationality and that means it is by definition incomprehensible.' This statement covers so many wrongs in society today. The guy who fought with his wife, stole a van, and tore down the road drunk last week and killed himself and a soon-to-be grandma, beloved wife and mother. The statement also covers those who commit suicide and many who abort their unborn. I pray I am never tested on if I act in my own self interest or am willing to die for another. I'm afraid I would fail miserably. We have had several mountain lion sitings around here and the standing joke is to buddy up with somebody who runs slower than you do. We are expected to act in our own self interest. Sad isn't it.