In response to the recent killings, I, like many, was trying to grasp the enormity of this tragedy. I was trying to understand why this happens here with alarming frequency. Here are my thoughts.
What we are missing in our country is a sense of personal responsibility and a genuine connection with our fellow Americans. We have an over-inflated sense of self, one that we as parents have fostered in our children for the most part, one that brings us to blame the other without looking at ourselves. I know that I am guilty of this. I am trying to teach my sons to think first of others, but so far I have been less than consistent.
We live in a country in which its citizens fight from selfish viewpoints and, as of late, one where the governed and the governors won't compromise.
Should we be surprised that young people feel disconnected and self-important? Is this what we have grown? We don't allow children to feel failure anymore, forgetting that growth comes from failure. Guns, no guns, violent movies, pacifistic movies, these things do have an effect to be sure, but I believe that our problem stems from our egos, not media. Other countries have the same movies and have guns, and yet, a lack of gun violence.
Do they have stricter gun laws? Some do, some don't. Do we need better laws, I believe we do, but the real change has to come from us a society. We have to look out for one another, open our doors and hearts to our neighbors, to strangers, to leave our backyards for our front. We need to start to look at those who differ from us as an asset, an experience, a person. We all do better when we are loved and accepted, and we all want someone to be that for us. So let's start by being that for each other, without the expectation of anyone doing that for us.
As it has been said by many others, "Let it begin with me."