On Friday, one of my co-workers stuck his head in my office and said, "There's been a shooting at a school in Newtown." I checked the internet - it was Sandy Hook School - which is about 9 miles away - we put out a page on our intercom to alert our employees (it a large mfg plant) - there are a few people who lived in Newtown and thankfully, none of them had children at that school. I streamed a local station and kept up-to-date or did I?
It's now Monday morning and before I depart for the office, I wanted to share my weekend reflections and how I went from shock and denial to realizing how I am (and probably you are) part of the problem and what I plan on doing to make some necessary changes. Please continue.
Like most, I was shocked. I couldn't believe that someone could do that - especially in Newtown CT. While I don't live in Newtown, I have many friends in the area. This is almost home for me - the Principal lived in my town - she was formerly a principal in one of our towns schools - it was all so close.
I called my friends who lived there - at that point, no had been directly affected - all had been indirectly affected.
As time progressed - I learned of the misinformation. First, they got the shooter wrong - then there were people dead in New Jersey - the shooter children went to that school....wait - no they didn't. The Mother of the shooter was a teacher there - maybe not - an aide? Nope.
Then the rush for numbers - two dead - six dead - eighteen dead - twenty seven dead or is it twenty six?
I listened and watched - with the rest of the nation - pours called into our office from customers and suppliers all over the country and the world checked to see if we were OK.
I had a customer from Pakistan call me - it was touching - and after their call I thought to myself - here is a person who lives with this daily and he called me.
Saturday - all the churches in our town were open - signs said "Open, come and pray".
On Sunday, we took a short drive to place a wreath at one of the many make shift memorials - when returning home, we heard on the radio of a bomb scare at one of the churches - my wife and I just shook our heads in disbelief - "how can someone do that".
We are violent. We are a violent society. We entertain ourselves with violence. We inform ourselves with violence. We play violent games. We posses violent weapons. We speak violent words.
It's not just America - it's everywhere - from every generation - from biblical times to now, we have only become more efficient killers.
So reflecting back and considering our violent nature - if I'm shocked - I'm in denial. That's not to say the very vast majority would ever act out like the shooter - but being surounded by all the violence - it's no longer surprising to me - just sad.
Look at any one of the top bocx office movies - there are always at least 3 or 4 of the top 10 movies that are full of violence.
Video games - Mortal Combat - Grand Theft Auto etc.
Music - doesn't matter - Rap, Rock - too many are violent.
Sports - Ultimate fighting; boxing, football, hockey.
Internet - you want to find violence - it's a great place to start.
News - regardless of the sport - if there's a big fight - it's the headline. The more carnage the better.
Our country, I'm ashamed to say, does a great job a dehumanizing people. We wage war - sometimes justified - sometimes not. As a nation we rightfully mourn the Newtown tragedy yet, when a drone wipes out 30 people in a village - it's not even in the B section of the newspaper. I support our President yet, reflecting on the human element - how is he or we any better than the shooter for the killings we condone? We can try to justify it - but the killing of children is not justifyable.
This could go on forever - races hating for skin colors - Nations hating other nations - peaople hating people - not for any good reason - even at DKos - the word hate, which is a strong word - gets thrown around alot. We dehumanize - we make people into non-humans - why? Becasue it's easier to hate. That's the truth. It's hard to hate a person - someone's child - someone's parent It's easy to hate some idot racist, shallow, greedy Repug.
I am only one person, but I have made a promise to myself, my family and others that going forward that I will refrain from violence and all the violent distractions our society has to offer.
There is no single thing that can be done to make oour world better or safer - to think that passing any one law or regulation will make us safer, you're in denial. That's not to say that passing laws and regulations can't help - they will - but that's what Government can and should do.
What will YOU do? If you are not willing to look in the mirror and accept your responsibility - the world cannot become the better place that the vast majority want it to become.
It is up to us - each and everyone of us to do what we can.
Peace and love to all and a special thought to every and all human being who have suffered or have been killed due to violence in our world.