Human beings are amazing creatures. From our stunning anatomy and physiology to our reproductive processes, our mobility, our intellect, and communication, right down to our ability to reason and plan. It’s difficult to wrap one’s mind around. What makes us most unique in the animal kingdom, is our ability to feel, our rich inner worlds, our psychological makeup, and our innate gregarious nature. I used to think that gregarious meant that someone was wild, and perhaps a little loud or outspoken. Gregarious also means sociability or the degree of which we need others. In essence, the need to be part of a larger social group. We are social creatures and as such are adept at reading the verbal and nonverbal cues of others. There are parts of being human that are unquantifiable and a bit mysterious. Because humans are gregarious in nature and survival as a group depends upon ‘getting along’ so to speak, we are also skilled at reading other’s emotions. We can tell if someone is sincere…or not. Again, you can’t measure sincerity in a lab, yet we know it when we see it, and more importantly when we feel it.
This is where the Guse’s have failed miserably. The words were (kindof) there. There was a half-hearted effort put forth to try to convince others, and perhaps themselves, that they truly didn’t know what happened to Karlie. That they were sad she was ‘gone’. The sadness that’s been shown is not for Karlie…it’s for themselves. It’s the precise nature of being human that allows us to perceive what is unquantifiable. I can’t measure their sadness, yet I am able to confidently say, that it’s disingenuous. For, along with our ability to feel what others feel, or empathize, there are corresponding behaviors that indicate what we feel is sincere. The Guse’s have failed to demonstrate the behaviors that indicate their words are honest.
It is possible to fool others sometimes. Most likely, we’ve all been taken by someone who said one thing, yet did another. Part of our amazing humanity is our ability to hope and believe without direct proof…faith. We want to take other’s at their word because we want to believe the best about others. One of the hardest lessons of adulthood is learning that not everyone is what they say they are. This matures into the knowledge that it’s foolish to believe in others when their actions aren’t corresponding to their words. If we journey back to a place where someone took advantage of our trust, our faith in their goodness, our hope in the sincerity of their words…the first stop is usually, ‘deep down, I knew this was going to happen.’ We turned our backs on our own ‘knowing’. We ignored the disharmony between the words and actions of another.
It’s with that measuring stick that the Guse’s fall utterly short. The only very public plea for Karlie to come home was nearly a year after her disappearance. The inconsistent stories. The inability to give a definitive timeline. The inability to make any sense. The unwillingness to answer questions. Engaging in and approving of tactics to intimidate and demean those who seek to understand more. The bullying behavior. The defensiveness. The lying. The lack of concern about what Karlie has ever experienced in the hands of her ‘abductor(s)’. The subtle jabs at Karlie. The deflection and the projection upon others. The unrelenting need to control the narrative. The overconcern about how they appear and are perceived by the public.
I submit, that if the Guse’s were your significant other, you’d drop them like a hot potato. All of the aforementioned behaviors are counterproductive for any relationship and utterly abhorrent behaviors from parents of a missing child.
I want to hope that Karlie will come home. I want to have faith that Karlie is somewhere out there. I want to believe that the Guse’s didn’t cause Karlie’s disappearance. That’s not the reality of the situation. Life experience tells me otherwise. My humanity tells me otherwise. The words and actions of the Guse’s tell me otherwise.