If We’d Known

Kathy Crosby
2 min readMar 29
Photo by lil artsy: https://www.pexels.com/photo/couple-of-hands-2838506/

We have been doing a rare “binge watch” at our house, and the question was presented the other evening as to what we would do if we had known what act of violence Ted Bundy would perform? Sort of a butterfly effect.

If we’d known that someone would grow up to be one of the growing number of people who use guns to inappropriately shoot on school grounds or in crowded areas, what would we do? Would you choose to make sure they had never been born or would you change the life circumstances that brought them to the act of doing harm to others?

If we’d known, would we treat these people differently prior to the horrifying event they would eventually be responsible for?

If we’d known, would we treat our own family members differently? Perhaps a little kinder, perhaps by assisting them to receive the mental health programs they need.

If we’d known, would we talk to the people who tried to “fix” this person in their own narcissistic pattern? Would we recognize the symptoms of both the slow suicide of substance abuse and the quick suicide by the police or by their own hand?

We don’t know. We can only be present and pay attention to those around us.

Most of the time, we don’t know what to do when we see disaster approaching — and have no way to see what the outcome of a tragic life will be.

Be kind. Try your best to not judge. Be helpful when you can. Respect your fellow humans and realize that everyone you meet is going through something that you have no clue about.

Vote. With your ballot and your feet and your words. Make noise. Stand up for what you know is right.

You may remember this poem inspired by Pastor Martin Neimuller and written by Bertolt Brecht:

“First of all, they came to take the gypsies.

and I was happy because they pilfered.

Then they came to take the Jews and I said nothing,

because they were unpleasant to me.

Then they came to take homosexuals,

and I was relieved because they were annoying me.

Then they came to take the Communists,

and I said nothing because I was not a Communist.

One day they came to take me,

and there was nobody left to protest.

If we’d known that not saying something to help others — well, you see what I mean.

Be a good human. Make a difference. One day we may no longer need to say “if we’d known” other than when someone excels at something.

What a wonderful world that would be.

Kathy Crosby

Kathy Crosby is a full time creative, vlogger, entertainer. musical educator and advocate. https://www.phoenixhousepublishing.org