"The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds. It needs people to live well in their places. It needs people with moral courage willing to join the struggle to make the world habitable and humane and these qualities have little to do with success as our culture has set. "
The above quote is attributed to David Orr and to the fourteenth Dalai Lama. It doesn't matter to me who said it, it is only important that it is true. As a nation, as a world, as a species, we have a lot we need to learn, a lot we need work on. Instead of the standard denial and rhetoric we spew at each other, what don't we actually start acting like adults after a huge tragedy? Generally, I think it is because we are cowards, we are lazy, and we are afraid of change. We want to be kids, but we are not, we're adults; the responsibility is ours. I know that's why I don't live up to my full potential. It's hard to do the right things many times and often I need help from other people just to get started, but in the end the pain, challenges, setbacks, and subsequent growth are worth it.
So what does this have to do with mass murders in Connecticut ? Everything. It's time for an intervention. We have problems and they aren't going to get better unless we acknowledge them and do some serious work. I'm going to say it first. Hi, I'm Kyle and I'm part of a society, a world, a species that has significant problems. I need help and I am powerless to enact these changes by myself. I need other people, I need this planet, but I do not need the greed, the fear, and the hatred I carry. Well, I said it, I'm part of this problem and I'm part of the solution.
The following list has some of my ideas on why this has unfolded the way it has and what we need to do:
- The Media-Good grief. Do your fucking jobs. Is that too much to ask? The last time you really did your jobs I was kid. That's sad. Report verified, legitimate information. Use intelligent sources and intelligent journalists. Don't report what people think, unless they are respected experts in a field, report facts. Get rid of your gossip mongers. Gossip is not news it is hearsay. We need gossip and hearsay about as much as we need another Inquisition. And to those who bow to the great half of all powerful media, 24/7, learn to stop watching the same thing over and over. Go out and do something with that time.
- Due Process- We have a society, a civilization. We chose to construct laws and chose men and women to enforce those laws, interpret them, defend the accused, and finally those to carry out sentences of those convicted. Public opinion is not due process. Mob cries are not justice. Personal opinion is not law. Get a grip on yourselves. Your voice is no greater than the other seven billion voices on the planet. The days of crying witch are over. Unless you can say something with reason, with dignity, how about not saying anything at all?
- Healthcare-Everyone talks about the high cost of healthcare, but no one ever talks about the expense of not taking care of our bodies, minds,and souls. A small amount of prevention leads to a lot less awfulness in the end. We could stop so many of our aliments by being proactive instead of reactive. Much of what ills society could be avoided if we simply invested up front in the well being of everything on the planet. Anything that threatens that well being we should seriously consider changing or not adopting at all.
- Guns-From the moment we learned to use tools, any of those tools could have been used as a weapon. Sometimes they are. We restrict the usage of so many things, in the name of public safety, it makes no sense that guns aren't regulated as much as cars are. Regulating guns in no way violates the second amendment. Even if it did that doesn't matter. The Constitution is a working document. We've already interpreted the second amendment differently than when it was first implemented. We can do so again to strictly regulate guns.
- Empathy & Compassion-It's the most important thing on this list and the hardest of all the things on this list for humans to to create. We have so much fear and hate in us and we are so easily manipulated that this trips us up more often then anything else. Real empathy and compassion isn't a Facebook post, it isn't a looking at TV screen, it isn't a blog post. It isn't the anger we feel, the sadness, or the emptiness. Real empathy and compassion is being willing to share parts of you, parts of your life, part of what you know and can do with others. It's giving respect to everyone and allowing for second chances when we don't quite reach that high ideal.