Personal Note

My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From your thoughts, you can create greatness.

This is what I need to remind myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create. Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgemental, love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are love.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My thoughts on the news in Connecticut

It would be impossible to believe that any of you have not heard of the tragedy in Connecticut. I heard it on the radio while running errands. I don't watch the news, or read the paper. I don't get on Facebook often enough to hear the latest news, so I was a little behind the times, I guess. I didn't know what to say about it, really. Everyone was giving their opinions. Some hope and prayers for the lost ones and their families and friends. Some lashing out towards the evil doer that struck down these innocents. Other's sharing in the opinion of why this matters more than the genocides and murders that happen everyday in other countries and the inner cities of our own nation. I tried not to get too wrapped up in this. I didn't know what my opinion was yet. Did I have an opinion? I have changed so much over the years that I'm afraid my lack of outrage or out-crying of sorrow might come off as callous or too passive. The thing is, I just choose to try to gauge my words first. Measure my emotions. Take the time to feel my feelings. And this is what I came up with:

I really am sickened by the thought, the reality, that all those innocent people were slain, especially little ones. And especially right at the holidays.  Now, I've already seen the argument about "why is this more important than other horrible crimes?" Race was brought in, societal rank, and why the holidays have more importance than any other day when these crimes against mankind happen. I don't think this one instance is more important. But I think the timing and situation made us stand up and take notice maybe just a little bit more.
I am not a political person. Nor am I a follower of any real man-made religion. Most of you have probably figured that out if you've read this blog from the beginning. My personal beliefs are just that I don't follow any religion because I choose not to participate in anything that causes separation between us. When we are told that one is wrong over the other, that makes me uncomfortable...and sad.
 I realize not all religions do this, and this is not my soap box for the religious right.
 My point is, no matter what you believe, the Holiday season is known for being a time of peace and cheer. Most children in this country celebrate Christmas, wait for Santa, have joyous Christmas mornings filled with the sounds of laughter and the ripping of paper, the cheerful noise of toys and games. Family, turkey, music, and favorite Christmas movies. Not news of these children and their families losing their lives so needlessly. It makes you take notice. It's not that we don't take notice of kids getting caught in the crossfire of gang related shootings on the South side of Chicago any less, though it may seem to happen that way, as I recently heard it put.
I am a big believer in the saying that everything happens for a reason...also something you would know about me from this blog. And don't get your knickers in a twist, please. I know loss. My husband knows loss. I'm not saying these people had to die. I'm saying, maybe their sacrifice will grant us the unity we so desperately need. We took notice...maybe not the right approach, according to this statement:

 "You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.
It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."

**(this statement was recently attributed to actor Morgan Freeman but retracted as not being his statement. It doesn't really matter who said it, it's still an opinion.)
But, I happen to agree. Let's stop sensationalizing horrors. I choose not to read about the shooter. I don't want to know the details. I want to pray for the families, send my thoughts and prayers to them. Know their names, not his. Remember the bravery that was shown by teachers, staff, and children that both perished and survived. Hope for them that their lives can move on peacefully, in time.

I hold on to my hopeful feelings for this planet as I have seen more and more promotions of good deeds. It's becoming a nice pattern, to promote goodness, to perform good deeds, and to take notice of it, and spread it around. I did wonder, and still do, how we are to evolve as a (human) race when we take steps forward in our behavior, only to seemingly take giant leaps back in the shadow of something like this. Why do these things happen? Why was my mother killed by a medication, when she was still too young to die? Why was Noah's mother ruthlessly kidnapped from her home and murdered? These things JUST happened, a few months ago. Why have I heard about two cases in St. Louis, right around the same time we had our own tragedies, where mother's killed their children, then themselves? What is going on in this world? Are more things happening, or are we caring more, taking notice more? 
Or is there a reason behind all of this? To bring the rest of us closer through these other people's sacrifices? 
I don't have the answers to this. I do feel, though, that we tarnish their memories by becoming hateful ourselves. I know that most of you want this kid to burn in hell. I've seen all the things being said about him. What is that going to do, but give people like him their way? Blackening your heart will not get anything done, but make you bitter and hateful. Mourn for the dead, mourn for the living who lost their loved ones, weep for the selfless bravery shown by teachers like Vicki Soto, and celebrate them. Learn from them. Honor them that way. Forget the name of the evil-doer. We really do need to put a stop to sensationalizing murderers, criminals, thugs, and wrong-doing in general. We need to teach our children, no matter their age, that it is not lame to be a peaceful, loving human being. 
Even in the midst of all of this horror, I still see the good happening. We are evolving. It is necessary for our survival to do so. It's up to each one of us to make the choice to calm ourselves during times of duress, choose the softer path; the kinder path. We all feel so separate, but when something like this happens, we feel so much more connected, right? We need to get to the place where tragic events don't need to happen for us to feel that connection, then maybe we can, eventually, see a world where there are no more killings or hateful acts towards each other. 

I wish you all a peaceful Holiday. Love one another, forgive each other. Make this season one of a beautiful new start to a wonderful New Year.

Warmest Regards,

*please read my comment below, it a small adendum to this post, and an important realization I had with a link to an even more important mother's story...
I thank you-N 

1 comment:

  1. I'm posting a comment on my own post, instead of putting in an adendum to the original post. I was putting away the dishes tonight thinking of all the families affected by this. It occurred to me that I left out an important view, as I had just thought of it. Are we forgetting the family of the boy who did this? I recently read an article written by a mother of a boy suffering from mental illness, and she made a very good argument, worth hearing. Maybe we shouldn't forget this kid, but remember his actions as a need to understand why he did this, not ignore him and the facts of why he possibly did what he did. Maybe that's how we address this. Not sensationalizing him and his actions in the media, but trying to understand why this happened and trying to learn from it. You can read that article here, and I truly hope that you do...
    Have a safe and loving Holiday...


I want to hear from you! Please don't be shy...I learn from you, too! Your opinion matters to me, but, please, no judgment or hateful words here.