How Did It Get So Bad?
For many years now, the Husband and I have watched the news together after the girls have gone to bed. And for many years, as we watched the events of the day unfold we’ve often looked at each other and said, “What is wrong with people?” Last night as we watched the news much later than it was originally broadcast and we were simultaneously receiving news alerts regarding the horrific intentional shooting of multiple Dallas police officers, we were both just stunned. The events that have happened this week go so far beyond the question of what is wrong with people. It’s truly incomprehensible what is happening daily around us.
How have we become so immune to violence? How have we come to care so little about other people? How is it possible that we’ve become so ego-centric that we think our life is the only one important enough to save?
It just hurts my head and my heart so much to try and make sense of any of it. I don’t want my girls to become aware of such terrible events, yet they need to know how to protect themselves if they are ever in a dangerous situation. When I was in elementary school, we learned about “stranger danger” and to “Say NO to drugs,” but we never had to practice lock-down drills. There was no such thing as a code-word for teachers to use when there was a potentially dangerous person or situation occurring on our near our school.
My girls have seen on the news or heard more stories about shootings, death, murder and other vicious attacks on others to last them a lifetime. So how do we stop this madness? How do we get back to caring about other people? How do we get back to loving ourselves enough that we are able to also respect those around us?
None of this hate is natural. Go to a park someday and watch toddlers play. They don’t care if you are a girl or a boy. They don’t care what color your skin is. They don’t care if you are wearing a dress or jeans. They only care if you take turns on the slide. They only care if you share your sand toys. They only care if you play fair.
We as adults have allowed and taught the younger generation how to hate. We as adults have allowed and taught the younger generation how to judge others. We as adults have allowed and taught the younger generation that what really matters is how far ahead you can get. It all needs to stop.
When I was younger, our church’s Pastor gave all of us kids a copy of Robert Fulghum’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” As I try to make sense of our current state of affairs, I can’t help but think how different the world might be if the book was required reading for every single person. Like every single day they had to read it until they truly understood that not one of us is any better than the other. Not one of us deserves any more or any less than the others. Not one of us has the right to decide who gets to live or who dies. All those decisions ultimately are left up to God. All that we are left to decide is how to live our lives here on Earth. Are we going to live to the glory of God or are we going to live to the glory of ourselves?
I for one choose love. I for one choose kindness. I for one choose compassion. I for one choose God.