In one of the many “Star Trek” movies, Spock’s mother, who was human, asked Spock how he felt. Spock did not understand the question. Spock after all was the quintessential thinker, he didn’t really understand feelings a great deal.
In the realm of personality type there are people who make decisions based upon personal values and tend to be more subjective than objective. These people are classified as “Feelers.” There are other people who decide based strictly on facts as they see them. They tend to be more objective than subjective and are classified as “Thinkers.”
I don’t always like the terminologies as Thinkers also feel, and Feelers also think. Additionally, people are not generally inclined to be totally one way or another. Spock, by the end of the movie, understood his mother’s question.
A great deal of the responses to the dreadful massacre of innocents in Newtown, Connecticut have been responses of ‘thinking.’ The questions of ‘why’ and ‘how’ and even ‘where was God” in all this are very common, rational questions that people are asking. There has been some of the finest theological reflection on this I have ever seen. There has also been some incredible bad theological reflection as well. It has all, however, been very theologically based, intellectual (sort of) responses.
But how do we feel?
In terms of this, please let me make a disclaimer. I tend to be a Thinking type person so in order to process how I feel, I have to do so logically. But despite the logical pattern of this, please note that I’m feeling these two things very deeply. (For people who know me well, that I feel TWO things is a stretch. I ordinarily would need to feel three things, so these are real feelings.
First, I feel rage. I am angry beyond angry at this. I am angry at the fact that a troubled young man had the ability to bring an assault rifle to school; I am angry that he murdered so many people; I am angry at so many of the responses. My anger is not really rational on this----I’m just raging over this.
Secondly, and most significantly, I feel profound sadness. I’m deeply impacted by Vicky Soto, a 5th year teacher, 27 years old. My daughter is a 5th year teacher and is 27 years old. My heart breaks for her family. My heart breaks for her loss.
There were also 20 children ages 6 and 7. I cannot get over some things. Many/most of these children still believed in Santa Claus. They were excited about Christmas coming. Their parents most probably had gifts purchased and hidden, excited for Santa to come and excited about seeing their children’s eyes light up on Christmas morning. The joy of purchasing those gifts and the excitement they had for giving those gifts to their children is shattered.
A little boy, hiding in the restroom with a very brave teacher offered to go out and subdue the gunman as this little boy claimed he knew karate. He was so incredibly innocent.
The mother of Teresa Rousseau, substitute teacher at the school who was killed said of her daughter, “I never thought in my wildest dreams that this would happen to my daughter, She was my little twinkling star, from the day she was born.”
I am a parent. I remember the days when my children were little; and I love them just as much now. My heart breaks for so many of these people.
This is how I feel about this.