I was about to head to bed and I should go to bed but I felt I needed to write something before I do. Today was the day of the shooting of school children in Newtown, Connecticut. Like so many people, I ache. I turned on the news tonight and of course, that’s all that was covered. Actually it was double covered and triple covered and advertisements were being shown for additional coverage that will air over the weekend. It reminded me of the aftermath of 9-11 when so many people watched all the stories on TV day after day. I was lucky that I was travelling across the country at the time (obviously not by air). I saw a snippet of the news and then I pulled away from it. I noticed how it hurt people deep down. I got that sense again today. It crossed a new line of horror. It will cut into people. People will try to understand. People will try to make sense of it. I don’t know how you make sense of it. It causes outrage. It causes sadness. It causes pain. It takes away our trust of life. Some people will turn their passion into action. The discussion of more gun laws is going to continue to grow. There will be more ways created to turn schools into fortresses. There will be more action to protect us from people with mental illness. This list will go on and on. I don’t know where it will all take us, probably in the same direction we’ve always been heading. We only notice where we’re headed when something scary appears in front of us. Obviously I don’t know where this road leads but I’m saddened by the terrain around me.
I watched some of the news for awhile and I pondered many of the things that I just mentioned. After that, I watched one of my favorite holiday movies, ‘White Christmas’. This time of the year, my wife and I watch lots of Christmas movies, on Lifetime, on Hallmark, on ABC Family, wherever I find them. With my crazy schedule, I even record some so we can watch them when there’s nothing else on. Yeah, many of them are just ‘chick’ flicks with Christmas decorations and Christmas music and some are just so bad. I confess: I like snow, I like Christmas music and, in most cases, I like Christmas movies. As I was headed to bed tonight, I thought that if more people watched these poorly acted, easy to figure out, somewhat hokey Christmas movies instead of the seemingly violent and senseless movies and video games that are so popular today, we would have fewer random killings. I’m not making a stand to outlaw games and movies; we’ve been down that road many times. I do believe that what we put into our consciousness has to define who we become and how we think. I think watching White Christmas this evening instead of immersing myself in all the horror of today’s tragedy was a better choice for me. I don’t think we can or should ignore what happens in the world but I don’t think soaking in it is helping me come up with answers yet. I will sort through pieces of it and admire the heroism of many and ponder the possible responses we need to make. I need to remind myself that how I see the world around me and how I respond to my world will have an impact on the culture that I can influence around me. I need to help make a warmer place especially when I feel that our tendency over the next while will be to make a colder, more protected place.
Obviously, I am just a bundle of thoughts and need to put things into perspective. I am not going to let myself get overloaded with sadness but I will feel some of the hurt. That is my humanity and I can’t be afraid of that. Be strong and be the person that adds powerful, positive structure to the world when it needs you most. Peace and love to your soul. Goodnight.