Statue vandals full of meanness

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 20, 2003

When someone steals from you, there’s a reason for it: the thief actually needs (or thinks it needs) what you possess. But when someone destroys your property, it’s safe to say that the only thought in the vandal’s mind was malice. Pure and simple.

That’s what comes to mind when reading the story about the ruined large jade statue in front of the Hampton Roads Youth Center.

The decapitation might be repairable, but a sense of trust and generosity was shattered by this senseless of this crime, which took place sometime before Tuesday morning.

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We mention generosity because the statue was given as a gift by John Waller in memory of his wife. He and Nonie had visited China decades ago and bought it.

In an act of goodwill, he gave to the center the artwork of General Jing Ke, a ruler in 100 B.C.E who is remembered for compassion.

That’s a quality that the vandals utterly lack.

We hope that when they’re caught (we’re optimistic), that they’ll be publicly forced to not merely confess their crime, but to explain their lives. But how long can it take to explain a life of pettiness, meanness and vulgarity? Five minutes. Tops.