I'm perpetually conflicted by the question of whether mankind is more inherently good or more inherently evil.
My grandmother would always try to shame me on this topic, telling me she didn't know how a person could make it through life unless they had an optimistic view of the world and of man.
For the most part, on this nationally recognized day of love, I like to believe in the goodness in people. I'll hear an uplifting sermon at church and walk out the door inspired by all the great things that can be accomplished. Then I'll be cut off and yelled at in traffic on my way home from church and so much for that uplifting message.
My grandmother used to tell me life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you take it so I try to remember her words of wisdom when bad things happen. I also understand "Don't Trust Anybody" are probably wise words to live by too, although that belief won't sell many Hallmark cards.
All this is a long way of saying I'm disturbed by the fact someone would toss puppies in the trash at one of our local convenience centers. This was our top story in Wednesday's edition.
While Sanitation Department officials don't know for sure, it appears the puppies were mixed with someone's regular garbage and tossed aside like an empty gallon of milk. Even more horrifying, the puppies were actually inside the bin when the trash was compacted. They managed to survive and were taken to Animal Control. From what I understand, people have been eager to adopt the puppies.
In a one-sentence letter to the editor that I received Wednesday, local resident Carol Ramos said it would be fitting for the person, when caught, to be forced to stay inside a trash dumpster all weekend like the puppies did as punishment.
We've been talking here at the office and there are some folks who think a fitting punishment would be to place the person responsible in the trash compactor and push the on button. Let them get crushed and see how that feels.
The comment was made on Thursday that puppies so cute could be given away in 30 minutes by someone standing outside Walmart. Why not do that instead of throwing puppies in a trash bin?
While the puppy incident certainly makes me pause and question the goodness of some people, I've been encouraged by the general reaction from so many others. I've received emails and comments from folks who are absolutely appalled something like this would happen here in Warren County.
One email came from a guy who now lives in Nashville who couldn't believe something like this would happen in his hometown. He wanted to adopt one of the dogs himself.
So a horrific act has been followed by an outpouring of support. I can find encouragement in this.
To quote Dalai Lama, "Choose to be optimistic. It feels better."
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.