Once I was working in downtown Milwaukee, sitting at a computer, wearing headphones, trying to get something done under the gun. I heard a sound, like someone was hitting a trash can with a baseball bat. I noticed several of my co-workers running towards the windows of our office building. Across the street, in Red Arrow Park, a police officer was on his knees in front of the man he’d just shot. As he took his hat off I realized that what I’d heard were gunshots, and that the man on the ground was probably dead or dying.
It didn’t take long for all kinds of emergency personnel to swarm the scene. As the officer removed his hat and was relieved of his service gun it was clear he was shaken even though he was easily 200′ away. We watched EMTs attempt CPR on the fallen man. There was surprisingly little blood. As the CPR went on we started filtering back to our desks. The deadlines were serious.
I sat down at my computer. I couldn’t get the stress of the looming deadlines out of my head.
I thought “This is what life demands of us now. We just watched a man die, and there’s no time to think about it. Back to work.”
Why do we live like this?