Thursday, May 29, 2014
On Not Glossing Over - With Love to UCSB
Honestly I didn't want to write anything about the Santa Barbara shooting. It hurts too much I thought...its tragic and hurtful and lets let it pass.
And that feeling is exactly the reason I'm mentioning it.
When did I become one of the masses who just lets these tragedies pass by? And even more tragically I think that I represent the generic whole, the "they's" if you will. We are the ones not directly affected right now, at this time. and therefore we can say the pleasantries like "oh how sad" or "I can't believe this happened again" or "what is wrong with this country?" or a million other little phrases you say to pacify yourself. And then you move on with your regular life. Breathing in and out. Going through your everyday routines, work, sleep, life.
The problem is there are 7 people who won't be going through their routines today. Who won't be breathing in and out. And there are infinitely more people also won't be going through their routines, and are having a really hard time with just getting their breathing under control.
So now I'm just sad. I ache for the families who have lost these beautiful souls. I'm desperately sad for the man who committed these acts of violence. And I'm disappointed in myself, that even for one moment I considered letting it all pass me by.
Hate me or love me, but I believe no civilian should have a gun in there home. I mean really I can argue that no one should have a gun in their HOME period. But I'm realistic, I understand that people want guns. But that's just the problem. People want guns. What is that about? Fear? We've really become the society that feels we need to defend ourselves so desperately from our neighbors that we need semi automatic rifles in our homes?!
People say that guns are fun (sick if you ask me) That we have a constitutional right to bear arms. That the government shouldn't dictate our freedoms. Blah blah blah. You know what I hear. I hear selfishness. I hear, my enjoyment and my fear come before your safety as a human being. I hear, I am inflexible and unwilling to move with the times.
I don't even want to touch the misogyny aspect or the violence against women because its too much and my head will explode right here and right now (and trust me these things they must be addressed, but I know my limits)
I just want to deal with the gun violence. And I just want it to end.
Whether you want to admit it or not, this human race is a family. We are bound together by our humanity and, I'd like to think, by a larger belonging. It is our duty to be good to one another. To be accountable for each other. And this world as it is now, its not the one I choose. I have to believe we can be better than this. That we can stop defending gun violence and instead choose life and safety over personal freedom. I know I will. If you tell me tomorrow that the only way to keep everybody on this planet safe from unimaginable tragedy is to get rid of every car on this planet I would do it. In a heartbeat. Yes it would take away some freedoms, and yes it might be inconvenient in some moments, and I would miss it a little because driving is fun but I'd still push my car off the cliff to stop even one tragedy. Because we belong to one another! And because I have to believe that we can do better - for ourselves, for our children, for our grandchildren... We can be the heroes of our own stories, we can stand up when every one else sits down, and we can talk about it when it's easier to just gloss over. I can do more. And I know you can too.
It is ironically tragic that we also lost Maya Angelou from the world this week. One of the great Peacemongers of our time. And because she will always say it more gracefully than I, I will give you her words:
"We, Angels and Mortal's, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.
Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.”
Maybe tomorrow I can't lead everyone to a worldwide surrender of firearms, thats true. But I can write my representatives. And I can sign the petitions circling around. And I can donate money to peaceful programs
And most importantly - I can speak Peace, when its easier to speak hate.