How many shootings will have to occur in the U.S. before we begin to solve the underlying problems of our society that result in these tragic events? Before saying anything else, I must express my sincere condolences to the families, loved ones and the communities of this latest mass shooting in Oregon. There is no way I, who has not suffered through anything like this, can even begin to understand. But I can, once again as I have done before, express the sympathies of my heart to those who are dealing with this on a personal level. My involvement is on a societal level, and I implore us to band together to solve the problems that create the circumstances that make these horrific happenings possible.
This is apparently the 142nd shooting in a school in this country in less than 20 years. That is a shocking statistic. I do not know if there are any theories as to why so many mass shootings happen in schools. Just think about it; a place where our students should be able to go and never have to worry about their safety and security. I grieve for my grandchildren and your children and grandchildren; they are growing up in a world in which situations such as these have become far too commonplace. And thinking of our teachers; how do they focus on teaching with this added dimension of responsibility?
I had another Blog Post prepared, and had to put it aside for another time when this happened today. How could I post something on business and change, as if today is a normal day? At times like this we need to stop and take stock of what is happening around us and to us.
I do not want to talk about or focus on guns. Guns, as bad as they may be as a vehicle for tragedies such as today’s, are not the main problem. I am not implying that we do not need to have tougher gun laws; I believe we do.
Nor do I want to talk about mental health. I suppose it is a given that someone who commits mass killings is not mentally healthy. Mental health is, like guns, a big issue, and one for which there are no easy answers or solutions.
What I do want to talk about is love. We need to make our children and adults love themselves and others so much that taking a gun and killing themselves or others is unthinkable. Yes, love. Love is the answer to this problem.
The best solution to this problem is people who love themselves, meaning that they know they are worthy of being loved and have healthy self esteem to the degree that they would never want to harm themselves or others. Love. As simple as that. As simple and as complex.
Instead of being and feeling loved too much of our time is consumed by people who rant and rave about all manner of things, including ideologies, politics, vehicle driving behavior, and other things. Why can’t we just discuss our differences without all of the negativity? Why can’t we let others be who they are without feeling that who they are isn’t ok?
I am so grieved by these killings. While I am not able to accept the circumstances and or emotions that result in this behavior, I have to try to understand that something is terribly missing in the lives of people who are able to resort to these terrible actions. I have to accept that there are people who for reasons I can’t begin to truly understand, are lacking something that would make their horrific actions impossible.
To me, what is lacking is love. Love of self and others.
And while I know it isn’t this simple, love can solve a multitude of problems. And not much else can.
And in the words of Tiny Tim, God bless us everyone.