What is this world that we live in, where any armed man, woman or child can walk into a school, or post-office, or place of work and start blowing people away?
That’s not even the right question.
There are guns, yes. But guns don’t kill children. People kill children. Without people to pull triggers, guns are just cold, useless steel .
The question, really, is: What kind of people are we, that we build guns to begin with?
The question, really, is: What kind of people are we, that we hide in our houses while souls wander so lost, so aching, so hopeless, so angry, that they are driven to commit these acts in the first place?
How blind have we become to cries for help, that a person’s spiral into darkness can even get this far? How often do we avert our eyes, so as not to see the darkness in our own souls? How many mirrors do we break, in our quest to avoid seeing our own failure reflected in those who act it out on the people we love?
What kind of people are we that our brothers, sisters, mothers, daughters – are pulling triggers like they have no idea that at the end of the barrel is something more precious breathing, than cold?
And don’t you dare tell me these are not your brothers and sisters. Don’t you dare tell me that this is not your fault… that man is crazy… this has nothing to do with me…
Does not every one of us wake up, every morning, and head out, somewhere, to do our time in this world? Do we not share coffee, bourbon, beer, while we bitch & complain about the way things are – bravely bragging that we would do things better, smarter, differently – if only we were in charge? Do we not sit watching, wailing, pointing fingers at our governments, countries, communities, neighbours, from the comfort of our favourite chairs, as we wait for re-runs of Survivor to teach us something about how to live?
That President you wave your hands at, he is but one, single man. He represents a people. And no matter how broad his shoulders – those people are you and me. Our hands built that house he lives in, and it stands as it is because we allow it. It stands as it is because we are wielding lazy tools.
Do we seriously think that the FB “share” button will bring down bricks and mortar? Do we seriously think that the 2.5 seconds we spend typing a name into another stupid fucking internet petition is really going to change the world?
At what point do we stand up and away from the safety of our desks? At what point do we speak out loud? At what point do we risk our own comforts, and head out to do some serious work in the real world? At what point do we find courage and compassion enough, to look that stinking, bleeding vagrant in the eye and see how much he needs us? At what point, do we truly change ourselves? At what point do we become beautiful, powerful, inspiring examples of a different way to live?
How many more children have to die? How many more women raped, beaten, burned? How many more men murdered and stolen?
Don’t tell me you do not see how profoundly disconnected we have become. Don’t tell me you do not see how we value profit over people – objects, over life. Don’t tell me you do not see how we are all hurting. Don’t tell me you do not see the desperation and hopelessness in which we live.
These tragedies are a call to action. They are a call to arms. They are a call to arms, but not to battle. They are a call to arms in love.
We must love each other so hard.
We must step out of our living rooms and into the streets to dance. We must wrap a giant embrace around each and every one we encounter – especially those who repulse us, for it is they who need it most. We must replace this destruction, this greed, this hopelessness, this fear… We must replace this separation with remembrance, with love, with brotherhood, and sisterhood, and hope, and joy.
Do not point your fingers for too long at the man behind the gun. Look past him, to the society behind the man. Look past that, to the individuals that are society. Keep looking. Look past and past again.
Look until you find yourself.
Ask yourself what you can do to ease the pain… yours… your neighbours… that stranger’s… that crazy, filthy man in the street… Ask yourself how you can be more loving, compassionate, thoughtful and kind… Then, get off your ass, and go out and do it. It could be any one of us who stops the next tragedy from happening. It could be any one of us who tips the proverbial scale. It could be any one of us who saves a life…
… or 20…
It could be me.
It could be you.
Do you dare miss that chance again?