• mariokiefer

Six Percent


Recently while reading a news site, I came across a story about a older man in his seventies. He was a Vietnam Veteran who had been ambushed by a couple of thugs in an attempted carjacking. Later, while in the hospital following this brutish offense, he died of a heart attack as a result of that trauma. It was a sad story. Here, a man survived the horrors of war in a foreign county only to die on US soil at the hands of his fellow citizens.


But, I didn’t think too much on the story. It did not involve anyone I knew and, so, I just (as I often do) shook my head at yet another example of man’s inhumanity to man. The story only served to further my waning faith in that humanity.

Then I perused the comments section.

The comments (as they always are on news sites these days) were politically motivated and often had nothing to do with the story at hand. I quickly grew weary of the perpetual arguing. But just as I was about to move on to another story, I read one comment that gave me pause.


The poster wrote: Thank you for your service. My condolences to your family and to those who loved you. May you Rest In Peace.


I thought — there is some decency remaining in this world! And my faith in humanity was momentarily restored. That is until my eyes scanned across the page and came to the “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” icons. At that moment, there were 203 thumbs up and 13 thumbs down. Really? 13 thumbs down?? I did the math. That’s six percent.


Six percent of those responding gave the post a downvote. Six percent of those who read this post of condolences gave it a thumbs down. And that caused me to wonder . . . who were these six percent that would downvote an expression of sorrow? What was it they objected to?

Did they object to the gratitude for service?

Was it the condolences to the family they disliked?

Was it the wish that the deceased might Rest In Peace?


I mean, seriously, who would downvote that? Could it have been just bots that downvote any "keyword" based on some esoteric algorithm? It simply could not be possible that any of these downvotes were generated by a real, true, decent, and functioning human being. Could it?


But what if it was not bots?

What if . . . that is a true reflection of how some think?

What if there are actual human beings who were behind those downvotes?

And, what kind of person would express such callous disregard toward another?


Oh, sure. I realize that the true evil lie in the ones who actually were involved in the man’s death. But that others might revel in the sorrow of those he left behind seems somehow worse to me than the actual act that lead to the man’s death.


Six percent.


Is six percent of humanity really that wicked? And if six percent is willing to express such heinous thoughts, how many others actually condone it without expressing their approval?


And, I came back to where I started: shaking my head at man’s inhumanity to man and feeling the loss of faith in humanity itself.


Six percent, I think and shake my head.

If man’s days on this earth truly are numbered, I cannot help but wonder if . . . perhaps, they should be.

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