So much has been said about the Oscar Pistorius/Reeva Steenkamp tragedy, and so many pundits have loudly proclaimed their preconceived ideas about what happened and who should be punished.
Why are we so angry?
The answer must be in the persona of Oscar Pistorius! Here we have a young man that transcended his sporting hero status, and became a symbol for all South Africans of our country and our history. Like Oscar, we as a nation were born with so many handicaps, very few gave us a fighting chance to survive. Like Oscar, we as a nation did not only succeed beyond expectation, but achieved the impossible by becoming a world leader in so many ways. Like Oscar, we have a very dark under-belly with awful things happening to innocent people on a daily bases.
Oscar is now an even bigger symbol reflecting the reality of our society and country! The disadvantaged child, that became the super-star, but stumbled over its own inherent weaknesses. Weaknesses we all would love to deny exist at all, but we only have to read the newspaper headlines to be reminded of our society festering with crimes so heinous, it is sometimes difficult to even mention them. With a morally bankrupt leadership we are desperately grappling onto anyone or anything to give as hope to overcome our terrible inabilities. Our anger is very much directed at ourselves. We believed the impossible to be possible! We believed that the world owe as some special disposition because we are who we are! We allowed the darkness of our own evil to fester to the point where it is now consuming all we thought we have achieved.
How do we cope with this? We take our anger out on those that is the easiest to attack. We pre-judge the entire Pistorius saga! We pour hatred and scorn on the once impeccable symbol of excellence. We burn our golden calf and deny we ever created it with our own vanities!
We use Pistorius to deflect our attention away from our own desperate failures and disappointments! We ignore the victims of our human fallibilities and their pain. We do not in any way become introspective and try to understand how we have allowed our society to be diminished to this level! No, we simply blame all our sins at one man, the once universally admired man, is now also the bearer of all things evil that was hiding in our own hearts.
We should all sit back and take a deep hard look at ourselves and the world around us. A wise old Russian man, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, once said “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
May justice prevail and may the Steenkamp family find peace, consolation and some form of acceptance?