"It's been a stunning time for us adults. It always is. Nothing is new, but it's fresh for every new crop of people. What is eternally fresh is our grief. What is eternally fresh is our astonishment. What is eternally fresh is our question: What the Sam Hill is going on here?
Is anyone running this show? Is some Fate carefully placing earthquakes on our one planet? Does an intelligence fix the height, speed, and angle of waves? Does Omnipotence hurl hurricanes, point tornadoes, plant plagues? We could not find anyone to make a credible case for any of these brain-snarling positions.
After all, we in the West hold the individual precious. Do we not? Or does an individual's value weaken with the square distance, like the force of gravity?
We eat at restaurants while people weaken and starve everywhere, sons or daughters all. We vote as equal persons. Some monks train themselves out of bias for family members. Monks don't have children. You and I, then, are just two of seven-plus billion people of supreme significance. "Head-Spinning Numbers Cause Minds to Go Slack" read one newspaper headline. Surely we agree that our minds must not go slack.
A British journalist, observing the Sisters of Charity in Calcutta, reasoned: ' Either life is always and in all circumstances sacred, or intrinsically of no account; it is inconceivable that it should be in some cases the one, and in some the other." For
'sacred' substitute 'of great value' or whatever you want, and look for flaws in his logic. He meant, of course, human life." - Annie Dillard