Jean… Stop reading this right now.
Stop! (Otherwise you will end up worrying unnecessarily.)
I have been reading an inordinately large number of posts on my motorcycling message boards about downed riders across the country.
One quote in a thread which represents a theme in MANY of these posts: RIP. So sad… especially after reading about his wife, his kid and the one on the way…
Why is it that a dead motorcyclist is more tragic if he had kids? Isn’t a young kid just coming into his own and working to better himself at university just as tragic a loss? Or the old, divorced, gnarled rider who has seen too many of his friends go down? What about the guy who never breaks a law and is taken down by an inattentive SUV driving soccer mom who now has to explain to the 2.5 kids in the back seat why the man stuck in their windshield isn’t moving?
Is death really quantifiable using this “tragedy calculator”? Will my own demise be less tragic because I “only” have a wife, but no kids, or because I never volunteered at a home for abused women? Who is to say someone’s life is worth more or less based solely on their “familial wealth” or their quantifiable contribution to society?
What if we take it another step… along the lines of kij66’s post: what if I were gay, or if I were a female motorcyclist? Would my death be more or less tragic then? What about my tattoos? Will my life be deemed less worthy of a tragic newspaper clipping because of the ink in my skin?
Yes, I do believe stereo-types are there for a reason, because for the most part people DO fit into easily identifiable groups on the surface and once identified as a part of that group, tend to continue behaviour that is expected. And yes, I fit into that statement as well. Equality in life is a very difficult thing to find, but does that really mean that we are not equal in death?