What the world needs now
April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
I have a hard time comprehending fate. When good things happen, it seems all is well in the world and life should happily fall into place like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting.
Abhorrent incidents occur, and I can barely wrap my head around the tragedy of it all.
Will Shakespeare’s prose is now more relevant than ever.
I can’t begin to understand what evil lies behind heinous crimes. America’s latest round of mass public shootings this holiday season honestly has me confused beyond belief.
Violence has never been a solution for me. I’ll never understand why people fight with each other until they’re bloodied or, even worse, dead. Or why weapons must be used to take action.
I learned early on from my parents not to take my anger out on others. I would much rather talk it out than lash out at those who hurt me. Or even make light of tense situations with humor.
I know it’s not that simple.
Many factors have contributed to the recent tragedies.
I am one of the lucky ones. I do not suffer from mental illness or have suicidal tendencies. I have never endured abuse at the hands of another. I have supportive parents who have always loved and nurtured me. I’ve never felt so isolated and angry that I don’t know where to turn. I have friends and family there for me when I need help.
And if they can’t, I know where to go.
We are not all the same, though. Just because I don’t suffer from these issues doesn’t mean that others do not. The world owes me nothing except my place here as a fellow member of the human race.
I’m not entitled to worldly possessions or monetary success. Like the majority of people, I must earn everything in life, including respect and the roof that’s over my head. I certainly am not entitled to take from another person, especially their life or dreams, because of my own selfish motives.
Sadly, it’s not that simple.
That’s what makes this month’s mass shootings, most recently Friday’s incomprehensible tragedy at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, so difficult. We may never know the answer to “Why?”
Most didn’t know the shooter, or how he felt. We don’t know what maniacal thoughts raged through his mind as he took that ruthless path on Friday that took 27 lives.
We never will.
If I could have one wish for the world, it would be an end to violence. But I’m a dreamer. From the comments I’ve seen on social networks – the most accessible forum on which people speak these days – it’s easy to point fingers and lay blame.
We focus on the guns or the people who should or should not control them. We blame the system and violence in media. We blame the lack of mental health solutions. We blame each other for having beliefs different from our own. We even blame ourselves for contributing to a society that trivializes death with movies and video games that seem to be all fun and games.
Until people are hurt in real life.
It’s time to step back and look at all we’ve created. By nature, humans don’t all just get along. People kill each other every day. It’s a fact of life. Wars of all sizes are taking place all over the world. Bombings and shootings are happening as I type. Women and men are abusing each other, as well as the children we bring into this world, by the millions.
That’s not going to stop unless we foster some change.
I don’t have the answers. I don’t know how we will all come together in a united front against violence. Will more senseless tragedy need to happen? I even noticed on Facebook that as people disagreed about gun control and the underlying political debate that hovers over these mass shootings, they resorted to violence in their own language toward each other.
I can’t make sense of that.
I want to live like that Coca-Cola commercial from when I was a kid and teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I wish we could all hold hands and sing “Kumbaya” around a campfire.
I know that’s probably not going to happen. We are polarized on many issues, but I truly believe we have love for each other. We must.
I’ll never give up on the notion we can live in a society without violence, especially against our own children. The question is where to start. My only answer is within us.
We have to start somewhere.
“April in Glenwood” appears every Wednesday. April E. Clark is thankful to be with family. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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