There’s really not much to say about the events that have unfolded over the last few weeks. Those who chose to utilize violence as their mode of transporting whatever message they may have intended, miss the fact that their chosen medium of communication will out-shout their intentions. All the innocent people, whose lives were lost or are now having to process the denigration of human beings through these chosen actions, will become statistical outliers in a chart somewhere – making a point for retribution against the groups that make the claims. Or in other instances, the actions of s single individual will lead to a louder din concerning other political motives on issues that are completely unrelated. The mangled detritus of the living and the dead become implements and weapons within the war of words in a game of political football. And to one side, essentially forgotten once the moments of senseless violence have subsided and relative order and some measure of safety have been established, the victims are left to cope with their injuries and the memories that they will forever carry with them. As a society, we will set them aside, and call out for retribution – rather than treating one another as human beings, and stopping the endless cycle of violence that is visited on people throughout the world. Whatever the cause. Whatever the reason. As long as human beings see the world through an us versus them lens – as long as we insist that living our lives can only be done under one political banner, under a single spiritual cloth, or as one particular skin pigmentation – as long as that continues, the violence will continue. The lashing out against people who are different will continue.
How does it stop? I have no idea…but I do know that it can start with treating one another kindly, as Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart pointed out earlier this year. This entire weekend “holiday” in the United States is supposed to point us towards being thankful for what we have: the people in our lives, our pets, our families. Corporations have turned it into a massive sale of items for the masses. We watch the videos of people scrambling, pushing, insulting one another over a $5.00 Rice Steamer.
Every time I turn on my television, and catch a glimpse of scenes like that, hear of another shooting somewhere in my local area, or a mass shooting elsewhere, or a bombing somewhere in the world — I mourn the lives of those who have been killed, and cry for the loss of safety that the surviving victims have endured. They can be put in the safest place in the world — and those images, those harrowing moments will be with them forever.
I don’t have any answers for all this. If I did, I would find a way to be on television and radio every single day – trying to tell people how to get to that point – to that moment in their lives, where they can set everything aside that makes all of us different – and treat each other kindly. I don’t have that answer…at least not for everyone else. I know I can change that in myself…