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Part I: The woman with no lip

January 31, 2014

I was 10 years old when I witnessed the cruelty of humans towards other humans for the first time.  When I say cruelty I mean something that you normally wouldn’t see, at least not where I lived, in any given month.

I was getting ready for school and this is what I saw on the television:

woman with no lip

Photo credit: Anatomy of Terror by Jan Lamprecht

And this is what I heard:

A woman whose upper lip was torn off with pliers was then forced to fry and eat it.

You can read more about it here.

It was right then and there that I had my first real and deeply moving experience of empathy.

Now that I am older I realize that empathy isn’t just feeling bad for someone you love or for someone you relate to in some way.  Empathy comes from a place where no matter who it is, you feel it.  You feel what they do.

And I felt it.  It was a sucker punch from the deepest, darkest trenches of humanity right into this little 10 year old girl’s heart.

And then I vomited.

My parents sent me to school but later I was sent home for having ‘the flu’. I was sick all day.  But at the age of 10 I did not know how to convey to the adults around me why I was so sick.  I only had one thought in my mind:

Why does something like this even exist?  How could it?  Who could even do that to another human being?  How is this even possible?

I never forgot that woman.  I never will.

And so began a 33 year quest to answer those four questions which are really just one question:

Why does cruelty exist?

Click here for Part II:  The Last Visible Dog “Have you paused to consider that there is no way out? Each way out of one situation necessarily being the way into another situation.”


From → My Journey

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