It’s not. It’s just not O.K. this culture of violence that permeates our days like the gut wrenching stench of a garbage strike in the middle of August.
This latest shooting, this morning, of Republicans practicing for a charity baseball game has done me in. I’m not a Republican. I’m not a Democrat. I’m not even political, to be honest; but no one should be subjected to terror like this. It can’t be O.K. for people to just pick up a gun at the first sign of frustration and disagreement. Violence is only acceptable as a response to violence initiated upon you.
I get it. You’re angry and disappointed. I’m angry and disappointed, too. Out of an infinite amount of possibilities why choose the one that escalates a situation? The one that continues discourse and harm? The one that ensures that the anger, disappointment and violence will continue?
Every moment we have the opportunity to make a choice that either raises the vibration of a situation or lowers it. And sometimes the best choice is to allow something to play out. Not in a wait and see when you can say “I told you so”, kind of way, but in a wait and see when you can say “Ok, we tried it your way, now what can we do?” kind of way.
So many people laugh and make fun of sit-ins of the flower power era, yet things got changed, the energy shifted and much less blood was shed. Not saying none was shed and that violence wasn’t still chosen, but there was no random terrorizing of individuals.
I know the problem. I also know the solution…well, since there are infinite possibilities, there’s probably more than one solution, so I know one of them.
Problem: No one is feeling heard, because no one is listening. And no one is listening because they aren’t feeling heard.
We’ve become so desensitized to disagreements that no one listens until shots ring out. It feels a whole lot like mother asking why no one listens to her until she is yelling and flipping out.
Mother is flipping out, people.
Except that we are not the ones in power here the politicians are…or are they? Do we or do we not have the right to vote (and conversely the right NOT to vote)? How many of those votes (voted or not voted) contributed to the situation we are rebelling against currently? (Hint: all of them)
So what can we do now in lieu of shooting at charity baseball playing politicians? Hmmm….I can think of several things off the top of my head.
Start by spreading peace around you. A peaceful mother raises peaceful children. If those in the shooters life had encouraged peace instead of anger, then perhaps he would’ve seen those infinite other possibilities. You never know who in your circle is going to do something stupid in a moment of anger, so teaching people there are other ways of dealing with anger is number one. The number one way to do that then is to model it.
Anger is O.K. It really is. It’s the ‘check engine light’ of our lives. <ding> “I’m angry”, ok, what in the situation needs to change? Me? The other person (if there is one)? Or the situation? It’s my anger, so I am the one who needs to change. Change my perspective, if warranted. Change my engagement, for sure. Change my actions, most definitely.
Violence cannot be the answer to a disagreement. It just can’t be. Where will we end up if we keeping choosing violence?
…on a baseball field with republicans bleeding from bullet holes, that’s where.
…on city streets with babies too young to walk killed by stray bullets, that’s where.
…in cemeteries instead of at commencement for our young leaders, that’s where.
It’s time. It’s time to stop acting like naughty children. It’s time to stop acting like mother flipping out. It’s time to stop being a bully, but it’s also time to stop being bullied!
Let someone grab my pussy, President or not, and I’m filing charges of assault and battery. Let them try to shush it, I’ll be on the television and using my platform as best I can. If I disappear, let there be an uprising, but please no violence!
Let them run this country in the ground, and from its ashes something truly great will arise, I promise you…but violence will not be a part of it.
I extend my love and support to all the victims present at today’s shooting and their families.