What on earth have we come to? This was one of the headlines in my new-fangled personalized Google page today … “Man kills friend over $20 football bet.” So I read the story. You can too, if you click on that link. In fact, you ought to. Or maybe you ought not to. It’s depressing. Two guys made a bet on the Carolina-Clemson game on Saturday. Then they sat around drinking beer and watching the game. Then they had an argument and the guy that won the bet got his hunting rifle and killed his friend.
It’s $20 dollars folks. Whether the friend paid up or not, this is not life or death. It was supposed to be fun. Watching football together. Laughing. Eating (I’d bet … probably Doritos or something nasty). Making fun of each other’s team.
It’s all fun and games until someone gets an eye poked out.
… or ends up dead.
Really … what have we come down to? Why is it that in our culture everyone is so determined to win, we end up shooting our friends in order to win, really win, a $20 bet. Is it really worth it? What makes Playstations and bets and bits of plastic so much more important than people? How is it that we have so lost our center? When did that happen? I bet a lot of people read this and think, “Well, I’d never take a gun and shoot anyone.” Yeah … but how many times have you used words instead to grind your opponent into the dust? We all do that … and then we laugh and everyone laughs with us. Hell … even our opponent laughs, because it’s all in good fun. Right? Right? Everyone is doing it, so it must be okay.
Well … just think about it next time because words can do as much damage as a gun. And just because everyone laughs doesn’t mean they don’t hurt too. There has to be some point at which we stop this cycle of violence. When we declare that people are more important than toys and guns and machines. When we begin to recognize all the weapons is when we’ll begin to understand how to move forward. Then we’ll learn how to really have fun.