Friday, October 02, 2015

A Prayer for a Broken Society

     A friend of mine has something behind his knee called a Baker's cyst.  It occurs when there is damage in the joint causing the joint to create and retain excess fluid, which forms a cyst when it has nowhere else to go.  It is a very painful thing.  If you take the time to look that up on the Internet - because that is what everyone wants to have in their search history - you will see that  there really isn't a cure for a Baker's cyst.  You can treat the symptoms, but the only way to truly solve the Baker's cyst problem is to cure whatever is ailing the joint as a whole so that it stops producing fluid.
     As I have been thinking about the horrible school shooting that occurred at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, and the one before that, and the one before that, etc, etc. it is apparent to me that something is deeply wrong and broken in our country and society as a whole.
     It has come to pass that we have to do this whole painful, unnecessary scene over and over again too often these days.  There have been 294 mass shootings in the first 274 days of 2015 according to Mother Jones.  Over one hundred 9100) times since the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012, one governor or another has stood at one podium or another in a capital somewhere in America an sent our prayers for the latest victims of a school shooting.  It has happened forty-five (45) times so far in 2015 as Newsweek reports.  And every time, before the tears have dried, before the crime scene tape comes down, before the evidence has all been catalogued, one politician or another stands up and all the rhetoric and posturing and mudslinging over gun control beings.
      But it is all bullshit, and none of it actually matters.  Regardless of your stance on guns and gun control, that is not the problem here.  Guns are the Baker's cyst.  We can slap all of the controls and waiting periods and background checks and gun safety classes on that we want, but it won't solve the problem.  The problem is that somewhere along the way we as a society have devalued human life so much that we find this acceptable.  THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THIS SORT OF SENSELESS VIOLENCE IS TO TEACH PEOPLE THAT IT IS NOT OKAY TO JUST SHOOT OTHERS FOR NO REASON. 
      That is the only way that this is going to work.  And the sad, terrible truth is that the fix will not be fast.  There is a lost generation of people out there who have lost the skills to reason correctly, to ask for help, or to understand that walking into a school, movie theater, shopping mall, church, temple, post office, or any other public gathering place is simply something that should not be done.  There will be a lot more blood, a lot more tears, a lot more rhetoric, a lot more press conferences, before we every get it through our heads that we have to accept other, tolerate others, and just not kill one another all the time.
    So as you sit and reflect on the things that have happened in Oregon this week, and you begin to send out your thoughts and prayers, send them out for the families of the victims.  Send them out for the survivors.  Don't send them out for the deceased because they do not need them - Heaven has thirteen more souls in it today for sure.  But maybe take a minute to send some of those thought and prayers to the people who have this sort of sickness inside of themselves.  Who think that perpetrating this kind of awful, horrible, unacceptable act is okay.  Because they are the ones who have lost their way.  Those people need a dose of help from whatever deity is willing to send it.  So save one of them, you will save many more of the rest of us.  And that is the only way this will ever end.

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