The court case is continuing against Eric Smail, of Christchurch who murdered the tetraplegic friend he had been caring for over a number of years. Their relationship had become strained and Eric wasn’t coping.
A short time before the murder he was in the pub with some friends and had tried to tell them he was having difficulties with his friend. They just laughed it off and didn’t hear his distress. This made him feel worse and he murdered his friend that night.
While this is no excuse for murdering someone and I don’t condone what he did in the least, I am aware that things may have turned out differently if his friends had listened to him and taken him seriously, even for a few minutes.
In every single one of the terrible shootings in high schools in the United States the gunman had, in the weeks leading up to the shooting, expressed similar distress to someone in that community and they had not been listened to.
The best thing to do when someone says they are unhappy or upset about something is to stop, give them your serious attention and listen to them. Eventually they may need to talk with a professional counsellor rather than you, but right now, you are the one they are telling, so take them seriously!
First Posted by John Faisandier on 18th June, 2010