A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
A COMMUTER STORY
“It is clear that the way to heal society of its violence... and lack of love is to replace the pyramid of domination with the circle of equality and respect.” – Manitonquat
Some of you who read my blog regularly may know that I commute to work on the train. This is a convenient and “green” way to get to work, as well as allowing me some time while on board to do all sorts of things: Read, write, listen to music, etc. I have my computer with me on board and it’s amazing how much one gets done in even 20 minutes of travel time. At other times I observe my fellow travellers and it amuses me to imagine their lives, simply by looking at them – they way they cut their hair, their jewellery, their clothing, even the perfume they wear. Overall, I enjoy my commuting time and most of my fellow travellers seem to do so as well. Occasionally there are some unpleasant commuters, you know the kind, those who have their iPods on too loud, those that take up three seats, the ones who are openly rude and impolite.
However, this morning in Clayton, a suburb a few kilometers away, a man was stabbed in the morning rush hour at the railway station. The victim in his 20s was stabbed up to eight times just outside the Clayton station, at about 8:15 a.m. He died in the station car park with commuters in shock as they filed past his body covered with a blood-stained cloth, to get to their train a few metres away. The murderer was not deterred by the broad daylight, the hordes of commuters going to work, no the very public place.
We are living in times where our life is forfeit from the one minute to the next. Being in a crowd or being locked up at home makes no difference. Death could be waiting to confront us at any time. Who knows whether the poor victim could have imagined last night that the day he had lived would have been his last? Did his family suspect that yesterday was the last time they would have seen him alive? His friends who perhaps waved to him from the train, did they see the murderer amongst the crowd?
Why was he stabbed? Robbery? Settling of accounts? A matter of the heart? An act of ethnic motivated hate? A victim of a psychopathic rage? Who knows? Will we ever find out? Apparently both men were Asians and according to witnesses an argument may have preceded the stabbing. There may be photographs of the murderer on security cameras and police appear to be hopeful of capturing the perpetrator, but how often have we heard that and how few times is it true? In any case the young man who died will not be catching another train, ever again.
One of the most upsetting thing about the case for me was that hundreds of people walked by the dying victim and did nothing to help. Only one young psychology student stopped to help and he heard the incomprehensible dying words of the young man as he lay in the pools of his blood. About 15 other people just stood by and watched the scene in morbid fascination… Who knows what the dying victim was trying to say as he lay dying? His murderer’s name, if he had recognised him perhaps? An appeal for help? A message of his loved ones? The name of his wife, girlfriend, mother?
In the meantime our city, like so many other large cities around the world is experiencing a wave of knifings. Wild, vicious stabbings where youth are often implicated. The problem is enormous and “Knives Scar Lives” campaign here in Australia doesn’t seem to be helping. Increasing numbers of such horrible crimes are being reported on a daily basis.
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.