Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
- Community Blog
The crime that happened to John and Revè Walsh’s son Adam was a desecration to our collective values as well as an absolute tragedy. Not too long ago, Hollywood, Florida chief of police officially closed the case after 27 years. Drifter and serial killer Ottis Toole was responsible for the child’s murder. Although Toole died in prison where he was serving sentences for three unrelated murders, he was never charged with Adam’s murder. It saddens and angers me that John and Revè had to live with not knowing who murdered their son for so long. It goes without saying that the Walshes miss their son dearly, and they always will. An enormous and significant hole was created in their lives when Adam was cruelly torn away from the kindred embrace of their boundless devotion. At their press conference, John and Revè, through tears and voices strained with emotion, thanked the chief of police for finally bringing some closure to their lives concerning Adam. I sincerely pray this revelation gives John and Revè some peace, God knows they deserve it.
Taking this into consideration, I can’t help but wonder, in the metaphysical sense, what role the Walsh Family (or any family or person, for that matter) plays in the grand scheme of things. Many of our experiences in life seem to occur without rhyme or reason. Most of them are ordinary, some are wonderful, while others are heartbreaking. Which makes me realize, if Adam had not been abducted and murdered, John would have continued his hotel management company in Hollywood, Florida and never pursued his career as the host of America’s Most Wanted or as a missing and exploited children’s advocate. With John at the show’s helm, America’s Most Wanted has apprehended over 900 fugitives, 15 of them from the FBI’s most wanted list. The show has also (undoubtedly John’s proudest achievement) reunited 43 missing children with their families.
John and Revè Walsh are both tireless champions of children, and their efforts eventually led to the creation of the Missing Children’s Act of 1982 and the Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 1984. Subsequently, they founded the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to legislative reform. John is currently lobbying for a Constitutional amendmet for victims' rights.
I doubt if any of these good and constructive things would have happened had Adam remained alive. Good and evil, one seeming to beget the other as they pursue each other in a timeless circuit through the infinite dimensions of our universe; the eternal struggle forming the fundamental essence of our lives, one could not exist without the other. Without good or without evil, the circle would be incomplete. There must be balance in all things to create order, although, subjectively speaking, the balance is often unfair. Which makes me wonder, what, exactly, guides us through life: free will or destiny?
If we decide to just coast through life, adopting a fatalistic philosophy, aren’t we still subjected to the capricious turmoil and joys of others’ destinies that intersect with our own preordained lives and then they, consequently, intersect with others’ lives and then others’ lives ad infinitum? (The butterfly effect on an astronomical level.) How could so many intersecting lives and circumstances be planned in advance?
And if we take life by the horns and utilize “free will,” again, we have to consider that our lives intersect with the lives of others’, who also have free will, which, of course, then dictates the seemingly arbitrary ebb and flow of life in general. How could free will ever work properly with so many contrivances intersecting at one time? How many times have we chosen a certain path that never reached fruition because someone else’s choice conflicted with and then redirected our own? Probably too many times to remember. And in employing free will, what price do we pay if we make the wrong decision? What if the results were not merely unsatisfactory, but ended up being fatal to someone, perhaps to someone we love? Knowing that a conscious decision we had made inadvertantly ended a loved one’s life would be a difficult thing to live with … but, I suppose, even a fatalist’s conviction that divine preordination had arranged this hypothetical catastrophe, years—perhaps a lifetime in advance, would not make accepting the tragic outcome any easier.
Maybe it’s neither free will nor destiny alone; maybe a sort of hybrid molds our futures. Admittedly, both are mysterious concepts, but it’s easier for me to accept them together rather than either one separately.
Then again, perhaps the whole thing, life, is purely random, and no matter how much significance we try to attach to personal events that occur in our lives, they’re incidental and would have occurred in spite of our trying to prevent or trigger them. But, random or not, what is the purpose of it all? Is there a purpose? Are we—human beings or all of life on Earth, just a strange coincidence, an accident? Or are we here for a reason? And if so, what reason? Are we, in an everlasting exercise of futility, here to question our own mysterious existences until we become extinct, or are we to evolve until we reach a conclusive ending?
To reiterate, life is mysterious to a mind numbing degree, however, contradictively, it frightens me immensely that, one day, we might—perhaps on another plane of existance, in another distant time—discover the answers to every question we ever imagined.
Ramesh S. Balsekar said, “ … there is neither creation nor destruction, neither birth nor death, neither destiny nor free will, neither any path nor any achievement. All there is, is consciousness.”
I’m not entirely sure what this means, but knowing that others might think I do furnishes me with a profound sense of pomposity
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