Well this is not the way I wanted to re-launch Dee-Tales, however the only thing I can think about right now is the current state of humanity in light of recent mass shootings. This week alone we’ve heard about a gunman in Oregon taking the lives of 2 people, an attack on 22 children in China and now today, the tragedy in Newtown Connecticut.
First I want to acknowledge the unimaginable pain and sadness of the survivors and loved ones of the deceased. I have 3 nieces, 1 nephew and a god daughter all school aged and I would be inconsolable if anything remotely similar to today’s massacre happened anywhere near them.
Like the rest of the world. I wish I knew what was going on in the mind of the gunman. I want to know what pushed him to thinking this was the way to deal with the pain and anger that consumed him. Why would you kill innocent children, babies? Was there anything that could have prevented this? I drove home listening to the news on my radio with tears streaming down my face as I thought about the terror and confusion those babies felt in their final moments.
Part of me thinks I should just be in the moment and allow my heart to break for those families and be grateful that my loved ones are safe and sound. Another part of me wants to do something. I want to do something to remind myself and others that although today is and will remain one of the darkest we’ve lived, that there is still light and love on Earth.
I’m afraid as the details of this gruesome killing spree come to light; we will do what we always do in the age of social media and 24 hour news cycles. We will finger point, debate gun control, argue the 2nd Amendment and copy and paste anti-gun articles for a few days until a semi funny auto-tuned news piece goes viral and we forget about the Newtown community.
Don’t try to tell me I’m wrong. You’ve already forgotten the details of the Aurora, CO shooting. "Was it 10 or 13 dead? Let me Google it. Oh wait I was just re-tweeted! I’ll get to it later." This is how we deal with tragedy in 2012 and it isn’t good enough.
So what do we do? Well, I for one will not look to politicians, parents, or the media to “fix” this. I’m starting with me. I’m going to treat people with respect and compassion. I’m going to ease up on dismissing someone’s feelings as being “silly” or saying someone is overreacting and soft because my joke didn’t sit well with them.
Imagine what would happen if we were more thoughtful with our words and more giving of our time and compassion. I’m not saying it will stop a mass shooting from happening, but I do believe when people feel like they matter and are appreciated, they are less likely to act out in negative ways or become a social recluse.
Yes, I know in some cases crazy people do evil things and evil people do crazy things and no amount of compassion or love can change those who are hell bent on causing harm. I do believe there is something to be said about mental illness and the lack of social acceptance of those who suffer from it.
My point is this; there is no one to charge for this crime. No trial, no jury, no sentencing for the alleged killer. Let’s not turn this into a social media circus. Let’s use this as a starting point to acknowledge that we have a problem with guns, violence, and compassion in this country. We have to meet each other halfway and hear each other out. We have to take a long hard look at our culture and communication methods and fix them!
President Obama addresses the nation:
Be the change you want to see in the world. Even when your enemy is telling you you’re wrong and that peace and harmony are pipe dreams. Remind them that the alternative of doing nothing and accepting hateful behavior as being the new norm, is the reason why families in Newtown will be having funerals instead of holiday parties next week.
Peace and Love,