A man named Josh Powell from Washington State just killed his two kids today.
He also killed himself.
It looks pretty obvious that he killed his wife in 2009 and even though her body's never been found and he wasn't charged with her murder his sons had been saying things that certainly made it look like he murdered his wife.
I've been married before and I'll tell you that it's no news to anyone who's ever been married that things can get pretty heated and downright psycho.
More and more as I experience the good and the bad on the journey that is life I've learned one thing. A couple actually...
but one lesson really stands out to me.
Most of the pain and suffering that people bring to each other in this world is the product of selfishness.
Josh Powell was a very selfish man.
He killed his wife.
No one knows exactly why he did because Josh Powell is dead.
But if I had to make a bet...
I'd bet it was for very selfish reasons.
Selfishness, like any human behavior exists on a continuum.
Let's say from one to a hundred.
Everyone's selfish to an extent.
Maybe a twenty on the scale of one to a hundred is average.
Josh Powell might have been 'a hundred and twenty.'
I've got a hypothesis.
It's pretty simple.
The more selfish someone is on that continuum the more likely that they are to hurt other people.
The higher their 'selfishness' score... the more that they just don't consider other people, where they are coming from or what they deserve.
Selfish people don't have much of a concept of 'fairness.'
At some point on that continuum the 'selfish person' stops being considerate of other people at all.
Certainly Josh Powell was past that point on the scale.
The man killed his own children.
After he'd taken their mother from them.
Time and time again I've tried to understand such selfish and harmful behavior and tried to glean some insight into what makes some people capable of doing things that the rational among us cannot even begin to fathom.
Selfish people can't accept not getting their own way.
To a truly selfish person, not getting their way is as inconceivable to them as what Josh Powell did to his own children today is to most of us.
People hurt each other for lots of reasons.
Sometimes in a moment of passion someone is so filled with anger or rage that they just snap.
It can happen to anyone.
Even moments later they might realize that what they've just done really crossed the line.
Think of someone walking in on their spouse 'In flagrante delicto' with another lover.
A person's reaction to that situation, no matter how extreme, isn't too hard to wrap your head around.
Even the 'inexcusable' can still to the rational mind be 'understandable.'
Josh Powell might have feared that the authorities were getting closer to charging him with his wife's murder.
His sons were talking.
People, as jaded as we've become in our society by this point wouldn't have been too shocked if Josh killed himself.
It would have been his last and final selfish act.
Trying to get out of taking responsibility for his actions.
But Josh Powell was posessed of a selfishness of a different sort.
The guy took his kids with him.
He murdered his own two sons in a fiery apocolypse that he'd apparently planned for some time.
Whatever went down in his home today the rational mind will never comprehend.
I'm sure of that.
I am sure that his actions could be classified as 'extremely selfish' though.
Probably psychotic too but I'm not qualified to assess that.
I try to apply this thinking that I do to my life.
When I see people engaging in really selfish actions, no matter where on the continuum they should fall...
I pay attention.
If they're consistent in their selfish actions I try to stay away from them.
They're the ones in my experience who hurt other people.
And I'd rather not be one of their victims.
Anyone and everyone is capable of a little selfishness every once in a while.
Sometimes it's not even apparent to us as we're doing it.
But when you observe someone acting selfishly again and again you're a whole bunch better off just to get out of their way...
to get as far away from them as you possibly can.
I've started to use the 'selfish assessment' as one of my primary tools in navigating life socially.
I'll tell you what:
I think selfishness is a common denominator in just about every crime imaginable...
from theft to murder.
I'm open to discussion on the matter...
but I'm really at a point in my life where I'm pretty set in my understanding of this concept.
I've been applying this lesson to life for some time and I'm pretty pleased with the results.
Be careful out there.
It's a crazy world.
But I've got this one piece of advice for you:
stay away from seflish people and you'll cut down your risk of getting hurt exponentially.
To Josh Powell I say this:
I hope you wore your asbestos underwear asshole...
because right now I figure you're burnin' off your tender bits in hell.
With all of the other selfish people like you.
Infinity isn't a long enough sentence for a guy like you.
I gotta feelin' you ain't never gonna feel that burnin' stop you scumbag.
My prayers go out to those children and their mother.
I hope you've found peace in a different place.