When tragedy strikes, don’t forget about the positive

Brittany JordanThe good guy always wins. It’s the law of any decent fictional storyline; there is always an antagonist, there is always a conflict, but ultimately the good guy comes out on top. Why else would we be infatuated with superheroes? There may be a certain appeal to the villains (the Joker, anyone?), but ultimately we always want Batman to win.

It is no longer breaking news that explosives went off near the finish line of the Boston marathon this Monday. The tragedy was covered extensively even when there was really nothing to report. This could be an act of terrorism; this could be the unfortunate consequence of incredibly insensitive individuals. Bottom line, as stated so eloquently by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”


This is, unfortunately, just one of the many tragedies that have recently plagued this nation. No one has forgotten the Newtown, Conn. school shooting that took the lives of 26 elementary school kids and teachers just before the holidays.

This last summer, a gunman walked into an Aurora theater during the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, killing twelve people and injuring 58 others.

A little over a month later, a man shot six people in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

And that’s just to name a few.

It’s easy to get lost in the lives that these tragedies have claimed. It’s easy to see all of the evil that is happening and assume that it will only get worse. Since we don’t live in Gotham City, and Batman isn’t the voice for good, we have a tendency to think that the world is simply full of people that do bad things.

In the wake of yet another national tragedy, it’s not nearly as easy to see the good in people.

However, what went largely underreported among the onslaught of heartbreaking news this Monday were the reports of marathon runners crossing the finish line and continuing to run to Massachusetts General Hospital to donate blood for the victims. I firmly believe that the good in people will always outweigh the deeds of the evil.

Unfortunately, it’s the massacres that we hear about. The tragedies are what get the constant news coverage; the shooters are the ones that get the notoriety. Modern media is so infatuated with the villains of every story that the victims are rarely, if ever, mentioned.

If it’s going to get any easier to see the good in people of today, media has to shift its focus from the perpetrators to the victims. We can no longer afford to be people infatuated with the capacity of evil in this world. Instead, we have to learn to focus on what we can do to make it better.

When a perpetrator walks into a public venue and starts firing shots, their mug shot will soon be on every news program nationwide. Everyone will be talking about them, wanting to know every minute deal of their lives. When that kind of notoriety is achieved, is it really any wonder why people would go to those lengths for that kind of attention?


So if we want to cut down on the number of tragedies caused by human hands, the best thing to do may be to shift our attention. Don’t focus on who would commit a crime such as this, but focus on what we can do to help. Let the notoriety fall on the good people of society, and then ask what this world is coming to.

In light of the explosions in Boston, let’s remember to focus on the positive things that people have already done to help. It ultimately doesn’t matter who set the explosives, but it does matter how the American people are going to respond. If we don’t give the perpetrators the satisfactions of stardom, then there is no incentive for other men that want to watch the world burn. Let’s focus on the Batman of every story, because the good guys have to win.

Brittany Jordan is a junior psychology major. He column appears every Thursday in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.