This is the question I have to ask myself after spending the last three days watching the latest tragedy unfold at Virgina Tech. We have all witnessed the same thing. Seemingly intelligent people.......professors and health professionals......all missed this one again.
We are continuing to hear how troubled and disturbed this man was on campus. His professors gauged something wasn't quite right.....yet they went no further than to throw him out of a couple of classes. Nikki Giovanni was one of those professors. I had the opportunity to have Ms. Giovanni for one semester at college - for Creative Writing. Very similar to what she is teaching at VT. This lady is no fool. She is a solid read of character. However, this guy didn't freak her out enough for her to react.
It appears that we are constantly being taught lessons from each of these tragedies. Yet somehow, we always have to cut people a break and not assume the worst. People fear the repercussions of jumping to a conclusion without having clear factual evidence. Unfortunately, that evidence always comes too late and at the cost of other people's lives.
We can talk all day about hindsight, but the fact is there were a lot more warning signs this time around and everyone chose to ignore them by taking the less painful options. What we are left with now is everyone's psychological analysis and unadulterated opinions of what happened and how we could be so blind.
In the future, I think we need to worry less about hurting people's feelings and keep the interest of the "whole" in perspective. Thirty-two lives were lost this week because of one individual's feelings and well-being. In reality......more concern about this gentlemen's "well-being" might have made this week a very different week for everyone concerned.