Did you joke when they died? 

By Josh Beavers

Five people died at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean last week. You’ve heard the story. There’s no need to rehash the sad tale. But there is a need for a lengthy, contemplative look in the mirror.  

There were a lot of jokes. There was a lot of hate. Quite simply: there is something wrong with a lot people. 

I saw neighbors take to social media to gleefully show cold hearts. I’ve never laid witness to a more bitter sign of humanity’s complete dehumanization of its fellow man. The internet has either turned some of our neighbors into something horrid or simply let loose the beast that was always there. 

In times of great sorrow and heartbreaking events, it is the solemn duty of humanity to come together in empathy and compassion. Yet these I write of sought to shroud their lack of sensitivity and basic decency in the guise of humor. Such individuals, who make light of tragedies with jokes and snide remarks, are like vultures preying on the misery of others for their own amusement. Their actions reveal a profound lack of empathy and humanity, a callous disregard for the suffering of others. 

We must stand united against such individuals, calling out their behavior and refusing to give them the attention and validation they crave. We must show them that there is no place for their brand of humor in a society that values human life and dignity above all else.

Let us not forget the lessons of history, where the echoes of laughter over tragedy have led to the most unspeakable horrors. Let us instead honor the memory of the fallen and the suffering of the living with our empathy and support. For it is in the darkest moments of our lives that we must come together as one, to rise above the cruelty and heartlessness that seeks to tear us apart.

(Josh Beavers is an award winning writer and author. He has earned more than 40 individual writing awards and is syndicated in 12 North Louisiana news journals. The Louisiana Press Association has recognized him five times for excellence in opinion writing, and he has earned numerous Best Investigative Reporting Awards and Freedom of Information Awards for exposure of governmental corruption in Webster Parish.)