An idealistic young American couple was killed in an Islamic State-claimed terrorist attack last month while on a cycling trip around the world.
Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, who were both in their late 20s, last year quit their office jobs in Washington, DC, to embark on the journey.
Austin, a vegan who worked for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Geoghegan, a vegetarian who worked in the Georgetown University admissions office, decided that they’re were wasting their lives working.
“I’ve grown tired of spending the best hours of my day in front of a glowing rectangle, of coloring the best years of my life in swaths of grey and beige,” Austin wrote on his blog before he quit.
“I’ve missed too many sunsets while my back was turned. Too many thunderstorms went unwatched, too many gentle breezes unnoticed.”
“You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” Austin wrote.
“People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil.”
“Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own… By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.”
Two days later, ISIS released a video showing the same men sitting in front of the black ISIS flag.
They looked at the camera and vowed to kill “Disbelievers,” ?according to The New York Times.
In their telling, an overly generous understanding of human nature is behind much of today’s progressive movement, including.
For their part, might view Austin and Geoghegan as martyrs in the struggle for a better world, or simply as unfortunate.