Everyone has opinions. And we talk about plans and compromise, but it seems very few people can change their opinion. Everyone thinks they’re right. We compromise because we have to. Most of the time we don’t change our opinions, we just realize we have to give something to get something else we want. Those big issues that really matter to us; does anyone ever change their opinion on those issues? We always seem to just grind our heels in and argue until the more dominant force wins. And even then we don’t give in. We continue to argue and feel cheated and slander those that don’t see our way.
When our family, community, country are confronted by horrific acts, it brings many (most!) of us together in an amazing way. We come together so well when the disaster immediately occurs. Our opinions and goals are aligned. We love, we share, we are personal with each other. We open our hearts and homes and wallets. We work together and we recover.
Then we settle in. The weeks pass and we ponder. We stew on those events. We get angry. Whether we lean on higher being to assist us through, our family, historical events, or just look inward to what we feel so strongly. And we come out with very strong opinions that are no longer aligned so well with those we just worked so closely with. We find groups that are aligned with our thoughts and we begin the fight. We begin to worry how to solve the problem and how that solution will impact me and my valued lifestyle.
Then the blaming begins.
It’s the guns! The Media! Entertainment, Movies and Video Games! The Internet!
No, God has a plan! He wouldn’t give us something we couldn’t deal with!
It’s Big Government! Lack of Mental Health Care!
It’s everything. It’s our society. We like things. We like our freedom to do whatever, whenever we want. We are a society that fears control. We like to say it goes back to King George controlling us (thus our Constitutional rights to form a militia with our military grade weapons). But I think it’s that we’ve become a society that gets everything too easily and we fear those extremes that could take what we feel we are owed in this society.
So what is our action? How do we solve terrorism and mass murder? More security at airports, schools, theaters, grocery stores, bridges, trains, malls… Thus more restrictions on your rights. Or should we try less security by the government, but more freedom to solve those problems at the “grassroots” level. If we all had guns then someone would have shot those terrorists before they were able to crash the planes into NYC. Or killed the shooter in CT before he killed so many. I can see so many problems with both scenarios.
Or do we look at it more from a perspective of changing the way we think. Better mental health care, better human services, better child care services, better early childhood intervention. This route will take generations to take effect. Critical though without question. Changing the way a whole society thinks… is hard.
This isn’t a comment on my opinion here. I actually don’t feel I have the solution. I prefer our strategy of what happens right when the horrific event occurs. We come together to do whatever is necessary to help and stop the act from occurring. That frantic act of love and loss. But I guess that’s reactive instead of proactive. But why can’t we use those same feelings and apply it to the weeks following. Healing our own hearts and minds. Healing our community. Be an involved neighbor and citizen. Look to others who show signs of distress and unhappiness and help in the best way you can. Maybe it’s simply informing authorities when necessary, or having a cup of tea with a mother who is struggling with a child with mental illness. We should know our neighbors better and not be afraid to intervene when those hairs on the back of your neck tell you something isn’t right.
Adrienne Yoshihara is a SAHM who struggles to find time to do anything anymore. But her kids are happy and healthy… And so is her dog. And that’s ALL that matters.