No, You Don’t Have to Know

Our society, myself included, has become absolutely obsessed with true crime. Beyond a basic interest in current news stories, there are podcasts, websites, streaming documentaries and more dedicated to the salacious details behind cases involving everything from petty crime to murder. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. Widespread media attention can sometimes lead to one person that knows one fact or saw one thing that can help solve a crime.

However, there is a downside to this barrage of information and the armchair detective and web sleuths it inspires. People often feel entitled to know every minute detail in a case that they are interested in, which can often be to the detriment of those involved in that case. There is certain information that can not and should not be revealed in an ongoing investigation. That does not stop us, however, from theorizing and speculating on the most public of forums where those who are directly involved in any given situation can read or be hurt by our words or conjecture.

What is the impetus behind this analysis of human behavior? Missing teen Tanvi Marupally was found safe in Florida yesterday and returned to her home in Conway, Arkansas last night. A press conference is forthcoming that the local police department insinutates will provide answers. Did she “just” run away? Was she taken? Who has been helping her? Where has she been these months? Why did she leave? It is human nature to want to know the answers to these questions. Hell, I want to know. But guess what? It isn’t our right to know. The only concern right now should be for Tanvi’s safety – emotional, spritual, and physical. We have to trust that the authorities (cough, that’s another post) in question, her family, and the trusted friends and community members who have led the efforts for the search will be privvy to the information they need to pursue any necessary investigation. I trust the judgement of Jenny Wallace and the others who have lead the efforts, liasioned with the family, and were instrumental in getting Tanvi back home.

The following quote from Madeleine L’Engle came up in my Lenten study this morning. The subject matter was slightly different, about loving one’s enemies but the words I bolded struck a chord.

“We must bless without wanting to manipulate. Without insisting that everything be straightened out right now. Without insisting that our truth be known.  This means simply turning whoever it is we need to bless over to God, knowing that God’s powerful love will do what our own feeble love or lack of it won’t.

I have suggested that it is a good practice to believe in six impossible things every morning before breakfast, like the White Queen in Through the Looking Glass. It is also salutary to bless six people I don’t much like every morning before breakfast.”

Source: A Stone for a Pillow

There will continue to be much speculation in the days and weeks to come about what actually happened on and after January 17, 2023 when Tanvi disappeared. I have no doubt that some answers will be revealed and others may not. Our only concern should be – as it has been – Tanvi’s well-being.

-Karri Temple Brackett
March 30, 2023

Leave a Reply