Premature Preemptive Destruction

Used by permission of

Used by permission of

My friend Martin Giles posted this:

A burglar breaks into a family home at 2AM and helps himself to a couple of mobile phones, an iPad and a wallet. Unfortunately, the seven year-old daughter is in the kitchen getting a glass of water at the time, and the burglar surprises her. She screams, waking the parents.
The burglar has a knife and pulls the girl in front of him, putting the knife to her throat as he makes for the door. Mum is already on the phone to the police (and luckily there’s a station two doors down), so armed officers are on their way within a few seconds, while the dad, with loaded pistol in his hand (it’s America) blocks the burglar’s exit.
The burglar is a desperate man however, and though he now has several armed men pointing guns at him, he’s got his trump card – the child. A human shield. The police officers arrive, and father and police don’t hesitate. They shoot the burglar, the bullets ripping through the child’s body first.
Everyone is sad that the girl is dead, but all agree that they are innocent of any wrong-doing. The burglar was using the child as a human shield, so it’s entirely his fault that the girl is now dead. No question. Little bastard.
But wait. Isn’t the point of a human shield that no person in their right mind would shoot through it? Perhaps it’s only in the movies where the snipers wait for a clear shot.

I responded:

Can’t like this Martin Giles, but you point out one of the deepest, most serious problems I see in human culture today: imbalance. The burglar was wrong. There was a need for action to curb his behavior in the moment, and also to discourage him and others from similar acts. However his use of the child limited the options available to the others.

The only quick way they could counter his bad behavior was to threaten or perpetrate violence which risked an innocent life. Instead of keeping a focus on the innocence at risk, they focused on the evil in progress, and escalated to destruction of an entirely higher scale. They fell into what I see as a common, (and perhaps increasingly so) error which costs many of us our very lives. I call it Premature Preemptive Destruction. It is like jumping off a cliff to avoid falling.  Almost all of us have experienced that alarming feeling at the edge, looking down and sensing that we may have an urge to jump, to “just get it over with,” and though we almost universally resist it successfully, it can often set our pulses racing, our hands shaking, and occasionally… precipitate disaster.

It is in those adrenaline-soaked moments that we must draw on a reserve of prior consideration, of preparation, to withstand the unwise, ineffective, course of expedience. It is at those times our race can end or continue, individually or quite possibly one day in an unnecessary world-wide disaster. I believe that our evolution to that capability, and our either overcoming it or falling to it, constitute a turning point in the story of life on this planet. Even if we do mature and survive as a race, I weep for those individuals whose lives are ended too soon, or severely diminished, by the haste of Premature Preemptive Destruction.


WayneSL 2013

In the morning we go out to hunt
to gather and to bring home stuff
and if that stuff is in another’s hand
then there will be negotiation
a battle
a process.

and if it is Gaya herself
and she should oppose us
there is still
a process.

That process may be thorough yet
still the stuff  brought home with us
carries a trace of its former place
the fingerprints of other hands
a tint of blood on the diamond
a twinge of cyanide in black or yellow gold
though refined it still retains
signs of its source: a stain remains.

We bring stuff back to the nest
to feed our young
to please the Queen
Then as they open stuffed mouths
to praise us
the poison cuts them off

And we
are indignant.

Rigid ISMS


Original art by WayneSL

song lyric by Wayne Slater-Lunsford, 1998~2012

We all live here, in the valley-
and we dance beside the river, deep and  wide.
and our voices harmonize here;
and we  share the river’s  love along both  sides.

Bayanihan, and Ubuntu
and Aloha and Communion all are  one.
and our  planet gives us plenty,
If we  learn to share and  let the river  run.

Who’s that yelling a cross the divide?
That   shadow in the sunset looming  long?
They’re screaming at the other ridge as loud as they can,
but it Seems to me that both extremes are wrong.

From the dawning to the   evening
Some fools  on the ridges throwing rocks across,
but the rocks land here in the   valley
and  it’s the folk down  here that pay the cost.

I don’t know why you would listen to them.
They  speak of love but fear is how they rule.
They  tell us we’re all beggars and that they should be   kings
Don’t  let those ISMS get the best of you.

Yes, we  live here in the  valley
not up  on the ridges where the air is thin.
where our  shadows can out grow us
and our  voices echo  but our thoughts are dim.

I don’t know why you would listen to them.
They  speak of love but fear is how they rule.
We’re all one race of  humans and you know that it’s true.
Don’t  let those ISMS get the best of you.

We’re all one race of  humans and you know that it’s true.
Don’t  let those  ISMS  get the best of you.
Don’t let ISMS get the best of  you.