“Am I My Brother’s Keeper?
I wrote last week of two friends who were lost to this world, but whose memory will always be alive with love in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to know them. Their passing has caused me to be more reflective than usual.
On Thursday of last week another childhood acquaintance, David Gore, died. He was a year behind me in school……..he died by lethal injection. He will be remembered to.
What causes someone whom I’m sure was a much loved son, turn into someone capable of the heinous murders he committed? What happened to create such a twisted mind? ………….And how did someone who grew up along side me in Vero Beach, Florida end up finding pleasure in causing such pain and agony in so many lives and destroying the peace and tranquility of our “paradise” .
I remember David Gore well…..I saw him often as we passed in the halls of Vero Beach High School. He appeared to be shy, lonely and withdrawn. There was something about him that made him seem younger than the rest of us; more fragile. He wasn’t in the group of friends that I hung around with. To be honest he wouldn’t have fit in……..and I don’t think we would have welcomed him anyway……I saw him daily, but I didn’t see “him”.
As I said, I have been very reflective this past week and in my reflection I have had this question tumbling through my thoughts. What part did I possibly play in creating the monster that the young David Gore became?
We hear a lot more about bullying today than we ever did when I was growing up, but I can assure you that bullying has always been around. I just don’t think we had a name for it or because of the lack of media involvement, awareness of it. There have always been a group of kids who were the underdogs and another group who seemed to enjoy seeing those misfits be abused both physically, mentally and emotionally.
David Gore was a misfit and I abused him. What was my abuse? I totally ignored him. It was as though he were a ghost walking the halls of our school. I looked right through him. What might he have become if he had felt more acceptance from me and others like me? Maybe nothing would have changed for him. Maybe the die was already cast. But I will never know that if I had reached out to this sad and lonely classmate and helped him wade through the tough times of being a teenager in a clique-filled high school would he have found peace for his tormented and twisted soul……. I will never know.
It’s too late for me to reach out to David Gore, but I hope that each time I see someone who appears to be out of place, sitting by themselves, head hung low, that I will remember my classmate who started life as a precious baby and ended up taking the lives of other precious babies and subsequently died by lethal injection on August 12, 2012.
I hope that I never forget that, “yes, I am my brother’s keeper”.