It’s gotten worse. I touched on this in my last blog entry. Today, I’m being less gracious because we have extreme proof that makes me mad at what the world has become.
When will we finally learn that we don’t have gun problem, we have a people problem? I’ve said countless times in this blog that there’s an atmosphere of anger and confusion in the world that we have to overcome if we really want to create the future that we say we want. And yet, we still scream and snark over our ideals, while the Texas school shooter was posting on social media that he was going to do what he did yesterday, and – nothing. We let it happen because we can snark about stuff that’s none of our business, but when it comes down to real things that need intervention, we get scared and silent.
It’s a lot different when you go up against something real, isn’t it? Well dear everybody who knew him and "never thought he'd do it: your condolences are as meaningless as your observations, opinions, and regrets right now." This was 100% avoidable, but nobody invoked their snarky opinions the one time it could have made a tremendous difference. There's no way you can explain or justify that to 21 grieving families today. All you can do is pray for forgiveness and greater wisdom in the future, and pray those families can someday forgive you as well.
I’m disgusted by the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, yesterday for multiple reasons. It was a senseless loss of life. Innocent children and adults had their future taken from them by somebody who went online and said he was going to do it, but nobody stepped in because “he has his rights” and we couldn’t interfere until he was a threat to himself or others. The problem, I have argued since my days studying psychology in college in the mid-90’s, is that by the time you have tangible proof of this danger, somebody has already been hurt or killed. And it’s usually not themselves.
Others pay the ultimate price for their issues, be it anger or mental illness.
We talk a big game, but do nothing meaningful to prevent it. Gun control won’t help. That isn’t dealing with the anger epidemic or mental health issues affecting people in this crazy, changing world. They’ll just find other ways to hurt others. Heck, anything can be a weapon, even the human body itself. Ever watch a Bruce Lee movie? Pointing to the gun lobby as the problem for school shootings is like saying that food makes people fat, so we won’t allow people to eat anymore. Or drive cars, because they get in accidents. Or use appliances, because sometimes the wiring is faulty and causes fires. Do you get what I’m saying here? Broad strokes aren’t going to address the specific problems we’re facing.
What we really need is going to take more time, energy, and attention than we want to utilize to solve the problem. We need a renewal of mind and spirit that creates an atmosphere of support and growth in our society. We are diverse, and so are our needs and our problems. Everybody needs a place to express themselves and be heard. Everybody also needs to be bold enough to step up, or at least speak up, if something doesn’t “vibe” right. Being sorry today is too late for 21 people today. It might have helped them if law enforcement and security personnel in schools in Texas knew about him yesterday.
This isn’t like the Vicky White case a few weeks ago. She hid what she was doing. Salvador Ramos didn’t. And both situations ended the same – with loss of life – because nobody was paying attention to the signs that something wasn’t right here. Her’s were subtle. His, not so much. But it didn’t make a difference in either case.
We really need to open our eyes and become more aware of the world around us. Not only have our tempers flared out of control to create a dangerous world, but we’re blind in our tunnel vision of simply getting through each day.
What’s the answer? I hit on it in my last entry: we need to quit being traumatized by COVID (and everything else) and get back on track to learn grace and patience, and find the internal motivation to take steps in a right direction to create the world we said we wanted in the wake of the pandemic. There are no quick or easy fixes. It will take lots of work and time to get these small steps to add up to big differences. There are no shortcuts. Remaking reality is precision work and takes time, dedication, and persistence. We need to get started before reality remakes us into an evolution of humanity that we never intended. Wait, it's too late. That's already in progress, and we have to stop it before it's too late to save ourselves and the world we live in.
Obviously, this issue is on my mind and heart a lot these days, as it's seeped into both of the short stories I wrote last week. If you want to see how this reality is fictionalized, I welcome you to check out "Radiant Reality" (my story for last week's Reedsy contest prompt), and "Circumspection" (which I wrote for a Writing.com contest).
It’s gone too far. People are dying because of our chaos now, and it's too much. It’s time we got our proverbial crap together and started doing right, by ourselves and others. It's time to be bold, resist the impulses of reaction, and be proactive in creating the world and the reality around us. We can't control most things, but by gosh we can control our own thoughts, words, deeds, and actions. And that is the key: we need to quit reacting, and start being proactive.
I can't even watch or listen to the news now. It's too infuriating. The debates over mental health reform and gun control are pointless. The bottom line truth is that we failed. And this is a failure of epic proportions. We've learned nothing, and we need to fix that.
That’s all today. Take care, and let's try harder from now on. Every one of us certainly needs to.