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The seven minute life

This paper supports Petrowski’s thesis that it is important to remember our past events because they shape our future. In the above article, Petrowski discusses the miserable life of Marc Lépine, the 25-year-old man behind the death of 14 female innocent students. Petrowski digs into Marc’s personal life and childhood hardships, including but not limited to an abusive father, as the leading factors into his massacre. Before turning into a murder he is today remembered as Marc was first a victim deep down the memory lane. As such, Petrowski’s thesis is that in every very villain aggressor hides a victim who is pushed over his or her limits from mental or social instability to commit a heinous act, suggesting that it is important to address preventable tragedies for the sake improving the well-being of the society.


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Past tragic events hold important lessons on how some outcomes came and the triggers behind their occurrence. Petrowski notes that Lépine endured a rough childhood experience because of his abusive father in addition to being a social outcast. Throughout his childhood, Lépine used to have thorough beating from his father for no particular reason, the consequence was a missing love link between him and family. It did not stop there. Lépine was never recognized by his school peers who considered him an outsider. This is particularly underpinned by Petrowski (350) who states, “Was it the day of his birth, the first time his father beat him, the day his parents divorced, the week he suddenly quit all his courses, the night a girl didn’t want to dance with him?” Taken together, these events pushed Lépine into depression because he had no people or friends with whom he could share and express with his tribulations, contribution significantly to his eventual decision to quit school. All his experiences ranging from his father’s abuse to lack of friends at school worked to build-up as mental torture to Lépine. He had to release all these frustrations through aggressive behavior, the consequence of which was the murder of 14 female students. The implication is that while some past tragic events can be unpleasant and depressing to go back to, they always shed light on why these terrifying events took place.

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Overlooking the events that precipitated previous mishaps can only work to show us how ignorance can beget painful effects in the future. Brushing away past tragic events essential means that we are condemning ourselves to dire consequences. It is only by learning through our past mistakes that a brighter future can be fostered. This is reminiscent in Lépine’s miserable past life experiences and the society’s failure to address his miseries. In so doing, the society created a rogue murder who massacred 14 females. By ignoring Lépine’s misfortunes, the society only worked to create more pain and grief to the other students and their families as more aggressors and consequences will formulate with time. Overlooking our past afflictions is choosing not to educate and learn from such effects, thereby treading down the same lane of consequence.

Looking back at past tragic events provides solutions that the society as a whole can bring forth strategies to avoid the occurrences of horrid situations. In Lépine’s background and massacre can serve as a typical example here. The society could have easily identified the agent behind his outburst and subsequently create solutions against them. Because he regarded as a social outcast with no one to comfort him, community institutions or hotlines could have been critical to aiding Lépine’s lack of socialization with other members of the society. For instance, a student’s poor performance in a test can be addressed through a teacher’s feedback and support. It is only prudent that such a student seeks to support and help from the teacher’s feedback so as not to repeat the same mistakes in future tests. Therefore, avoiding reoccurrence of tragedies in the future, support should be brought forth to assist troubled members of the community cope with feelings of depression and mental torture in order to prevent such lashing out events as Lépine’s massacre.

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This paper focused on Nathalie Petrowski’s “The Seven-Minute Life of Marc Lépine.” In the essay, Petrowski argued that in every very villain aggressor hides a victim who is pushed over his or her limits from mental or social instability to commit a heinous act, suggesting that it is important to address preventable tragedies for the sake improving the well-being of the society. The author of this paper agreed with Petrowski’s thesis, as it is only when we remember aggressors and their own tragedies that we can learn from their past about the driving factors behind aggressive behaviors. It shows us the dire consequences of ignoring the effects of the past. Strategies to avert future tragedies can then be designed. More correctly, in the absence of help, many individuals across the world would be troubled and lost souls that suffer from lack of empathy and compassion, and may, as a result, commit devastating actions similar to Lépine’s massacre.

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