In April 2009 I posted an essay titled "Defective", along with a poem titled "naked in the sand". Both were my reactions to daily headlines describing various mass shootings and killings that were being regularly reported by the media. I questioned then if the altruistic philosophy of Chinese philosopher Mencius was valid, or whether his contemporary, Confucian philosopher Xun Zi was correct in believing that man was inherently evil.
I sided with Mencius. Barely.
Again, this week, we're told of rampant criminality taking place in Haiti following a devastating series of earthquakes, and yet another mass shooting in a quiet Virginia community. These, just two of many other incidents reported over the past several months.
Below is another poem I wrote in 2007 that questions our supposed altruistic nature. How many more years, centuries or lifetimes will man"kind" live before we completely loose our heads and destroy ourselves?
(the desire to kill
so human a trait)
so, how do we
keep it at bay,
Poem © 2007 by R. Burnett Baker
Photo © 2005 by R. Burnett Baker.
Photo taken by R. Baker in Hong Kong, 2005.