Sunday, December 5, 2010

Infinite Value

The last two sentences in a book by Joseph Telushkin, about Jewish belief read:

"Jewish teachings insist that every innocent human life is of infinite value. Hence, the murder of one innocent person is the ultimate evil; the murder of ten more innocents increases the magnitude, not the evil."

The book An Eye For An Eye is listed under Fiction, but what is written about Jewish law might well be true. Even if it's not true, it still means more to me than all the self-help survivor books I've read and all I've heard of.

It validates my situation on a grand scale.

We all know that the amount of child abuse has reached an unprecedented level. I've recently wondered if child abuse is so prevalent, that society is numbed to it's trauma. I will never see the murder of innocence as acceptable behavior for any member of society.

For me, murder of innocence is the same as the murder of an innocent. I don't believe adding descriptives such as, incestuous, gang, cult, etc, before the word rape, changes the rape and trauma. It only tells what part of society is guilty.

Too many people misunderstand the adjective and perceive, instead, that it means a "degree of seriousness or harm or trauma. That is not true. I believe anyone who has been violated will understand what I mean. My own mother twisted around what the word pedophile meant and said to me, "Oh, come on, how would you know you were hurt, you were just a child?"

More children being violated does not reduce the severity, only increases the magnitude.
Nuff said.


Kerro said...

"Just a child"... I hate that phrase. It's such a clueless, insensitive, thoughtless, adult power-driven phrase.

Children are precious. They are not "just" anything.

I think one of the problems with society's numbing around childhood trauma is that, as children, we were taught to be silent. It's hard, now, to speak up and speak out.

Just Be Real said...

Yeah Ivory, I think that people have become numb to the fact of children being sexually abused and how devastating it can be. Along with people being murdered, beaten, robbed, raped. We tend to put labels on the severity of trauma. You are right. We who have experienced our abuse first hand, knows the lasting effects it had on us! Others will never understand that. Thanks for sharing. ((((Ivory))))

Paul said...

Great post. I don't know that society is numb to trauma. I think society is more avoidant of it because they don't want to imagine it being something they ever have to deal with. It causes a queasy feeling in people.

But, this needs to change...

Ivory said...

Kerro, you are so right - on both counts.

JBR, true, it's sad that too many people don't want to understand, they are afraid of the truth.

Paul, I see your point, too. I know that many people (too many) don't want to know because it will ruin their day.

lifemultiplied said...

Well spoken, Ivory!

Colleen said...

That quote at the beginning of your post is absolutely thought provoking and true. So many times people measure how "bad" something is by the number of people hurt but even when just one person is being hurt, that is one person too many. I read another thought somewhere (I'm sorry I don't remember where) but was something along the lines of:
The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of thousands, an interesting statistic.

In some ways that can be applied to anything, child abuse, rape...I do believe we are desensitized as a society. It's very sad.

Life is of infinite value, as a Catholic I also believe and agree with this. We too believe that each life has its own inherent dignity which doesn't depend on anything other than the fact that we are created in the image of God.


Ivory said...

LifeMultiplied, Thanks!

Colleen, Your comment made me think of when the Cypress Street Viaduct in California collapsed during an earthquake a few years ago. It's always a disaster when someone dies like that, and if only one had died, the coverage wouldn't have been so sensationalized.