…And the Greatest of these is Love
(I wrote most of this post on Saturday morning, but I took some time for reflection and editing as I processed my emotions over this past weekend.)
I have been behind on blogging, which happens. I do my best each December not to go batshit crazy, and somethings have to take a backseat so that I can get done what I need done and still enjoy the month. Unfortunately, that means this blog sometimes. I have a lot of topics to blog about….setting goals for 2013, the importance of writing down said goals, confessing my Advocare Fail and why I will still do it again. I will get to these, but today let us address the elephant in the room.
This morning, I put my first-grade, six-year-old son back on a school bus. In the seat behind him sat a precious little girl from his Kindergarten class last year, a little girl I heard a lot about, as my son was clearly smitten with her. On Friday, December 14, that little girl’s mom’s cousin lost her life in a terrible shooting, as she shielded her students from a gunman in Newtown, Connecticut. The gunman would ultimately take the lives of 20 six and seven year olds, six educators (including my son’s friend’s relative), and himself. This young man crossed a barrier that we thought sacred. He killed completely innocent children that, as far as we know, were strangers to him. There are few words. There is no explanation that seems fit. It is hard to imagine the Evil that must exist for someone to do such a thing.
I am on social media, so I have seen and read the same posts, memes and blogs that you most likely have read. “This is a Gun Control issue. This is a Mental Health issue. This is a God in Schools issue.” Well, it is all of these and none of things, quite frankly.
Does anyone believe that there is a any legislation that could have prevented this? Make it more difficult, yes, but not prevent. Let me be clear. I am mystified that it is harder to own a car or adopt a pet than it is to own a gun. My heart aches for those that believe the answer to gun violence is more guns. Our treatment of the mentally ill is abysmal, from the preferred option of imprisoning the mentally ill over real treatment to the societal stigma of having a mental illness in the first place. As for God, He is already in school; to say otherwise diminishes His power. He is in churches and temples and shopping malls and movie theaters and college campuses. He is Everywhere, and yet that does not prevent these tragedies. The First Amendment is clear that the government cannot legislate prayer, but it does prevent it, either.
No easy answer exists. There is no “Well, if only we had X, this would not have happened.” Does this mean there is no hope, however? Hardly.
God tells us in 1 Corinthians 13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” That is what I can personally do right now, today, is to Love. Not only love my children and husband and friends and family, but to love those that judge me, that make my life hard, that treat me with disrespect. When I respond to someone with judgement, I am responding with hatred, and if I am hateful, I cannot show Love. In our fear of becoming doormats, we as a country have decided that a complete lack of common human decency is justified. Someone wronged you in some way, well, then go give them a piece of your mind! Do not let them get the best of you!
Such crap. While we are all looking out for number one, we build walls around ourselves. We stop showing sympathy to others who struggle. As others struggle while we worry about ourselves, we miss the signs. The signs of potential tragedy. The call for help. Whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Atheist, Agnostic, or Wiccan, we all agree on The Golden Rule of treating others as we wish to be treated. Let us get over our big, bad selves, and start showing love and compassion to every single person we encounter, every single day.
It will be hard. Much harder than blaming others for the state of our country, or going off on a rant when we feel we have been wronged. I posted this Friday on my Facebook wall and I will post it again:
There is Truth here. Love. Kindness. We can do those things. Extend a hand. Stop judging those who are different from ourselves. Ask how you can help. If you cannot help, offer to lend an ear. Offer prayers. Rather than argue how you are right and they are wrong, work toward the common goal. Show respect for all beings on this Earth. Practice The Golden Rule rather than simply preach it. No matter our religion or lack thereof, we all love our children and love our country. Let us Love each other, as well.
This is, of course, just my opinion. HUGS to you all.
(Now back to our regularly scheduled program. After a trip to the chiropractor, plus lunch and some quality time with my mom before she travels for the holiday, I have a week’s worth of Elf posts, plus some fitness topics to write about. Live goes on.)