More than once in the past week, the people at the center of these dramatic stories have stood at a microphone in front of banks of cameras and asked that their privacy be respected during the difficult and stressful days ahead.
These folks aren’t just talking to the members of the media camped outside the coroner’s office or staking out the bushes in search of an ambush photograph.
No, they’re talking to all of us, asking us to be satisfied with what we know.
They’re pleading for the compassion we would all want for ourselves – the right to grieve in private, to adjust to their new realities, to work out their problems – without also having to worry about how such tasks will play out on TV and over the Internet.
They’re asking us to be respectfully disinterested.
We’re so used to being fed an unlimited diet of salacious gossip and speculation along with our news that we forget we’re dining on the tragedy and misfortune of others.
Don’t we owe it to the people we don’t know to remember that we don’t know them?