Except for excursions to the grocery store, which, for me, usually have the pace and feel of an open-air market visit, I am not a “shopper.” I buy what must be bought (books, what else?), but have visited a mall fewer times than the fingers on my hands.
There is no special virtue in this. It is what it is.
But, (like most of you, I suspect), the murder by mob of Jdimytai Damour, a 34-year-old temporary worker at a Nassau County, New York Wal-Mart store the morning after Thanksgiving, has taken up residence in a portion of my mind, and made the place a whole lot darker.
I wonder how the shoppers who were there feel? Do they blame the store? The culture? A simple twist of fate? Themselves? Do they feel shame? Remorse?
Huge, anonymous crowds are infamous for doing heinous things, or not intervening when heinous acts are occurring right in front of their faces. When we begin to act like balls propelled from a spring in a pinball machine, careening mindlessly, with no consideration for what or who is in our path, the time is way overdue for a massive take-a-deep-breath collective time out to consider: Who are we? What have we become? Where is this going?