I am no one important. I’m just another person in a sea of people just trying to make sense of this wild world we live in. I’m a father of three children with one on the way. I am a husband. I am a blue collar worker. I have likes and dislikes. I’ve made my share of mistakes and have had my share of successes. But ultimately, I am no one in particular. I live a simple life with simple means to a simple end. I want to treat others with love and respect and I expect the same of others. I look around and I think that life should be very simple, but somehow it’s not. And why not? Because I can’t got a day without hearing about and seeing the evils and the absolute travesties of justice that occur on a daily basis.
I have much that weighs upon my heart and I have a lot I want to say about a lot of things, but for now I need to get something off my chest. I know what I say may be hard to hear and will likely fall on many deaf ears, but I believe it needs to be said. This is for your benefit and mine because I’m speaking to myself as much as I’m speaking to you… I can’t be the only one that feels the way that I feel.
How long do we do the same thing expecting a different result?
I’ve thought long and hard about the recent shooting in Texas where innocent lives were lost to an individual with a gun… I am devastated. I am full of sorrow and anger and defeat. Everything in me wishes I could some how go back in time and keep these babies and their teachers safe. I think about how I wish I could give my life so that even one of them could live instead of me. I would gladly give my life to that end. I think about my own children and the absolute devastation I would feel as a father in the same situation… I’ll be honest. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of learning anything new about this awful event because every tiny piece of information is like ripping open the wound of this unspeakable news again and again. I’m afraid that this could happen to any school in America. I’m afraid and in denial that I know. I want to forget about what I’ve heard and go on with my life like nothing has happened, but I can’t. Not anymore. Never again. I must speak out no matter what May result.
We have Failed
I have failed… I have failed to speak out for those who do not have a voice of their own. I have failed to listen to those who are screaming for help. I have failed to act when the way to helping others is clear. I have failed to look beyond my own selfishness and my own interests to advance the wellbeing of others. I have failed to set aside my delusions and preconceptions to recognize that I am wrong. I have failed to protect those who are vulnerable. I have failed to advance the long overdue rights of my fellow citizens… America. I have failed to do much more than complain on the internet about all the shortcomings of our culture… We have failed… Things like rage posting on social media, or squabbling with those around us, or blaming the other side, or superficially pledging support, or sending “thoughts and prayers”. None of these things are activism. None of these things will make even a millimeter of change in the world.
Where we have failed worst of all is trusting in a system of government that constantly feeds us lies on both sides of the aisle as a way to control us. We have failed to recognize that the problem is not the other side, but that both sides, republican and democrat are two sides of the same false dichotomy that we have believed the lies about for generations. We have failed to hold the government and politicians accountable to their station and their responsibilities. What we have as a result is a fat, corrupt and overpaid government that serves its own self interests. Republicans and Democrats we see your failures and we will never forget! It is obvious that you are incapable of working together to the best interest of the American people.
How long do we have to do the same thing over and over and over and over, expecting a different result? How long will it take us before we finally do something about all the frustrating and backward parts of our nation? How many lives will be lost before we decide to protect the vulnerable? How long will we let our own thoughtless nationalism blind ourselves to the failures of our culture?
What we are seeing here with this shooting is just the consequence of many failures by many people all coalescing into this black hole of history. This is just one of hundreds of such shootings that happen all around America on a regular basis. The issue we face with this event is not a stand alone issue. We face many such problems in particular and in general as a culture/nation. When we talk about any issue that faces our nation, but in particular that of mass shootings there are many things at play. As a result we must step back and see the big picture and address all the little pieces that make up the messy pile that is America.
The Last Straw
If you are also like me then this has been the straw that has broken the camels back. It shouldn’t have taken this long to get to this point, but here we are. We have to step back and be honest with ourselves and with others because we can’t know where we are going without first knowing where we have been.
If you are like me then you are sick and tired. In fact, if you are like me then you are more than that. You are disgusted and exhausted… So, that brings me to my question. Again I am a simple nobody from nowhere. What do we do to make a change for the better? Do we make our representatives and leaders lives hell until they finally make a change? I don’t know if I would trust them to do anything meaningful. Do we vote for the other guys? I’m not sure either party knows what they are doing or that they have our interests at heart. Do We March for truth and justice? Yes! Do we start a new movement who has the true interests of the people at heart?
All I know is that we have to do something and we have to do it now. We have to do something different or all we can expect is more of the same and we have to stop waiting for someone else to make the change or it will never happen. Ultimately, whatever you guys want to do I’m on board. I’m just so sick and tired of devastatingly sad news reports about things that seem simple and avoidable. I want to make a change, but we need to work together. So, what do we do? And where do we go? Because if you are like me, you are a nobody who is ready to March to make a difference.
Since writing this four more mass shooting have occurred. My question remains, what are we going to do? I’m not asking what is so and so from whatever group going to do. I’m asking, what are you and I going to do? Please take this as a start of a conversation about how to make a change for the better and not a sounding board to hear more of the same finger pointing we’ve been hearing for years.