Where’s the Limit?
I went out for breakfast with my mother today and she was leafing through Le Journal de Montréal when she came across an article about Colonel Russell Williams. You know, the army guy who raped and killed a bunch of women.
My Mom commented on what a monster he is and in my usual sunny demeanor I pointed out that there are plenty of other people out there just like him.
The conversation took a slight turn when she brought up a man, a friend of hers now dead, that had a less than squeaky clean past when it came to his relationships with women. Something I was unaware of.
I wanted to know why one guy is a monster while the other became her friend.
Apparently, there’s a limit. Where is it? When does someone become a monster? That you disregard? That you write off?
I want to know. Where’s the limit? Where’s the line?
It’s easy to look at the actions of someone like Russell Williams and call him a monster. Maybe it makes us feel safer somehow. Calling someone a monster separates them from us, others them, and takes away a little bit of their humanity. We feel better because it’s far removed from our lives and becomes this thing that can no longer touch us.
We isolate it and put it away. In prison if we can.
And then what? It’s life as usual.
Only there are people who do bad things all the time and all around us. We know them. We know the shitty things that have happened to them as well as the shitty things they do to other people. We even love some of them. What then?