“If it feels good, do it!”
This is the mentality … the ethos …that has driven America since the 1960’s (Wanna shoot heroin? If it feels good, do it! Extramarital sex? If it feels good, do it! Damn the consequences!)
Consider films such as Dirty Harry and the Death Wish series. People in an earlier era might’ve just shrugged off gun violence and gone on with their lives.
Not Harry Callahan.
Not Paul Kersey.
The underlying message of these films is, “Don’t bother with the police … Don’t bother with the system. If you want justice, you have to take the law into your own hands.
“If going out and wasting the quote-unquote ‘bad guys’ all by yourself is going to make you feel good … do it.”
That’s NOT how the real world works.
I’ve given a great deal of thought to our nation’s recent spate of mass shootings (the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the recent shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas). I believe a great many of these incidents are rooted in this mentality of “If it feels good, do it!”
We have people killing people in large numbers for no other reason than they thought they would get a thrill out of it. They thought it would be something to add to the proverbial “bucket list” (“See Europe? Check. Blow away a crowded room full of people? Check.”)
We have people who cannot abide the idea of living ordinary lives. They crave recognition. They crave attention. As far as they’re concerned, if mowing down innocent people with an AR-15 rifle is what it takes for them to hit the “big time”, so be it.
And hit the big time they do. Our society rewards their destructive behavior by showering them with the attention they so desperately crave. Their lives and backgrounds are probed and exposed for all the world to see by the media (all in an effort to find a “motive” … a reason … an “explanation” … for their evil, criminal behavior).
It’s ultimately a matter of attitude. We’ve ceased seeing people as human beings. We don’t see people as individuals who have families and loved ones.
We as a society are losing our capacity for empathy. We spend so much time relating to people through screens that we’ve forgotten how to relate to the living, breathing, flesh-and-blood, human beings that are all around us.
We’ve become accustomed to seeing people as a means of achieving OUR ends (as opposed to being ends in and of themselves).
Real Life is not like the movies.