There can be no words to express the great loss of the recent shooting tragedy. Some big debates on gun control will ensue, some will speak of evil in the world. Many will say mental illness funding is needed and it is true in some cases.
I must ask, however, how can children survive the 24/7 serving of violence that is available, readily, via cable, internet, video games and endless other medias. We have no one watching these areas close enough and even if we were able to, it would be futile. The cat is out of the bag … no stopping it until “it” implodes upon itself.
Sadly, the result is training 101 on how to assault and attack the perceived enemy. Our children learn how to celebrate violence and disrespect for life in general, topped with mindless vulgarity, which can be seen on daytime TV… some we call “Reality.”
As an old song said … “teach your children well…” maybe to respect each other, to appreciate and celebrate all our differences. Maybe it meant to ask will this help me to be a better person or all I can be? To be accountable for our mistakes and make them right if possible. To not be afraid, to be kind or helpful, turning a blind eye to those who tease you for doing so. To be content in the fact that you did what you could to help, even if no one is watching.
I think love is sometimes mistaken for the physical when young, somewhat one dimensional. Anyone who has known the fullness of love knows it comes in many dimensions: parental, family, friends, the stranger whose story has touched you or a grandchild who fills your heart so you think it will burst.
It all begins with us. A choice to be kind, to be there when called upon, to be ready to pull together for what is best for all. We are all connected, one body of humankind and spirit. What each of us does counts and affects us all. We may only be a grain of sand in the universal picture, but if one moves, all move in a new direction.
This is not a sermon, a judgment or answer, but an echo of a saddened heart. I have more questions than answers but do pray and envision: Peace be with you and with us all.
Marianne Snowden is a lifelong Alaskan who has lived in Homer since 1976. In addition to being involved with many community activities, she retired earlier this year from Homer Electric Association after 35 years as HEA’s member services supervisor.