Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Crushing Sadness

Where have all the children gone...?

I have spent this day trying to find some sense in the senselessness of the murderous rampage in Newtown, Connecticut. There is none. And I am heartsick.

Children are supposed to be safe in school. They're supposed to laugh and learn, to play and misbehave, to share secrets with friends and pass notes and get caught. They're supposed to complain about the amount of homework they're given. They're supposed to be excited about the upcoming Christmas break. But they are not supposed to die in their classrooms at the hands of a too well-armed deranged young man.

Parents are supposed to be rushed and hurry their kids off to school. They're supposed to argue with them about their clothes, their refusal to eat breakfast, and their homework when they come home at the end of the school day. They are not supposed to get a call telling them the school is in lockdown because a gunman has fired on their children. They are not supposed to be overcome with fear that their child is one of the twenty killed and to then feel both relief and guilt at learning their child survived--but someone else's did not. Parents are supposed to be planning the many ways they will surprise their children at Christmas. They are not supposed to be planning funerals.

Our world has gone crazy. Events like this were rare when I was a child, even when I was a young adult. We had guns. We had drugs. We had mentally ill people. And, yet, events like this were rare. It makes me wonder. I wonder what has changed that has propelled those fragile minded among us to commit such a heinous act as this. As a society, we can search for a reason or somewhere to assign blame. If we had gun control, this wouldn't happen. I happen to be in favor of gun control, but I don't believe it's the entire solution. If people walked closer with God, this wouldn't happen. Ah, but God gave us all free will and even in a Christian society, mentally unstable people walk along side us. If kids weren't exposed to so much violence in movies and video games, they wouldn't grown up to be violent adults. Well, I grew up watching the Three Stooges, and I don't go around physically assaulting people. But I agree that kids today are exposed to more violence through media than we were in my generation as children.

If...If...If... We look for political, cultural, and religious rationales. Meanwhile, the insanity continues.

We are seeing more horrendous, more frequent acts of violence perpetrated randomly, often with no clear connection between the perpetrator and the victims. Violence is escalating day by day in our society. It seems to me we need to retrace our steps. We need to work backwards to see where it all began to change. What are we doing now? What is going on in daily lives now that pushes people over the line of sanity and reason to act with such anger and disregard for human life?

I won't pretend to know the answers. I believe this: that the answer is behind us. The answer is in our past, in a time that was kinder, gentler, more patient and understanding.

I can't begin to imagine the anger, sorrow and grief of the families in Connecticut. My heart goes out to each and every one of them. God help them.

And if we don't soon find the answer and stop killing one another and murdering our children--God help us all.

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