Author: Dr. Jon Berman | Category: Beyond The Bench | June 17, 2016
Dr. Jon Berman, a postdoc in the Department of Physiology, writes about the Orlando Tragedy and the impact it had on UT Health Science Center.
When the sun sets rays of light must past through more
atmosphere to reach our eyes. The atmosphere scatters high energy blue light
more easily, leaving low energy reds, oranges and yellows appearing in the sky close
to the sun itself.
The result is a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue,
indigo, and violet as your eye moves from the horizon to the zenith. This
accident of the combination of our star and our atmospheric composition is
beautiful and worth checking out from time to time.
Last weekend, the Orlando shooter committed a series of horrible acts of violence that defied
comprehension. No one has figured out his motive and it doesn’t matter.
I’ll quote Fred Rogers “When I was a boy and I would see scary
things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘look for the helpers. You will
always find people who are helping.’
To this day, especially in times of
‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing
that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
In the aftermath of tragedy, there are
thousands—millions—who want nothing more than to help. For every jerk who
commits an act of violence there are a million who want to live lives full of
dancing and singing, family, and joy.
We need to be reminded at these times that
we live in a golden age of non-violence. A human being today is less likely to
die of violence than at any other time in human history and the trend is
continuing downward. The great arc of history has moved toward cooperation and
kindness and I hope that continues.
This act was targeted at one of the
most vulnerable segments of our society. Although UTHSCSA is in a way
isolated—protected by its own police and one its own campus, it doesn’t exist
without the community that is and surrounds San Antonio. This Thursday, I saw that community come
together to remember and celebrate the lives that were lost.
Hundreds of people
of all politics, all orientations, all religions and no religion gathered to
celebrate human dignity and the fact that we all mostly want the same things
and that we all can mostly get along.
Names were read, prayers made to
various gods, and songs were sung. When "Imagine" was sung everyone joined in and
when we reached the first chorus I couldn’t sing anymore. I thought it was
because I had forgotten the words, but I realized that I was weeping too hard
to sing. John Lennon was right—he wasn’t the only dreamer.
Since the song was
written the dreamers have outnumbered those who don’t and we all have the same
dream of living joyous lives full of prosperity and peace.
Of course a few people brought
their own agendas but none of that mattered. The sun set, and every
wavelength scattered and went their separate ways. Humanity is beautiful and
worth checking out from time to time.
The "Beyond The Bench" series features articles written by students and postdoctoral fellows at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.
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