I did not make any mistake in the title…I won’t talk to you about the Rolling Stones! I’ll talk to you about a book I just finished reading and that moved me a lot.
I knew Jodi Picoult. Who does not know Jodi Picoult anyway?
I read “my sister’s keeper” and I cried. I did cry a lot. I did not want to feel that way again, powerless.
But when I checked at Nineteen Minutes on Kim’s blog, I decided to give it a chance.
So here I was, reading a story about a young guy, Peter, who went to school one day and killed 10 people and let many others on the edge.
This is tough. I mean who could even think to have sympathy for this kind of person, capable of such violence. Killing people does not solve any issue. We can’t tolerate it.
But then Jodi Picoult takes us back in time, looking at the life of this young guy, of his friend Josie, who took another road, who tried to belong, who would do anything to fit in. Peter did not fit in. He was different. He was badly treated, bullied at school.
But I imagine what you’ll say to me:
How many of us have been bullied at school, and never turned violent?
How many of us suffered hardships, without turning the gun towards our abusers?
Violence can’t be accepted.
Thought, as you are moving into the book, into the shattered life of so many people, you do remember that the shooter is the son of somebody, the son of a man and a woman who did their best to raise their son to be a good citizen. You do remember that you don’t always have the full picture to make up your mind. You do remember that it’s easy to say “I will never do this”, but that you don’t always have the chance to do something else.
There is no excuse for what Peter did. Behind his act, there are many questions which need to be asked and answered by society and families.
As I was turning the last pages, I was feeling some kind of sympathy for this guy. But if I had been on the jury to judge his case, I would still have sentenced him to life.
This story told me that sometime behind the bad actions, the violence, there are men and women waiting to tell their stories, waiting to be heard before it’s too late, waiting to be taken care of and helped.
Violence is not the solution.
We (Society, Family, Justice, Education…) are the solution.