Untitled: rage -
Words are not something that usually escape me. Words are what I turn to in sadness, in anger and even in joy and celebration. The written word, not the spoken word because too often with the spoken word I have found myself tongue-tied and stuttering. So it is to the written word that I return…
Words are not something that usually escape me. Words are what I turn to in sadness, in anger and even in joy and celebration. The written word, not the spoken word because too often with the spoken word I have found myself tongue-tied and stuttering. So it is to the written word that I return today to try to make sense in my own head of what I’m feeling.
Last Friday, I logged on to facebook, as I was stretching my neck from reading. I saw many status posts about a great tragedy in Connecticut. Of course, my first reaction was to turn to CNN, and log onto my local news websites. It’s what I do. I never get my news from one source. Always spreading myself across several to try and get a complete story.
What I saw, what I heard, what I read, was horrible. This tragedy took so many lives. I pictured terrified little girls and boys. My heart breaks as I began to picture little girls with bouncing curls, and boys with short dark hair, wearing Spongebob, and Elmo, and having their innocence shattered in the matter of a few seconds. I despaired, WHY? There is pointlessness to the entire thing. It made me feel as if the world is chaotic and random, and makes me wonder if evil will always win out?
There is a rage in me, it is pointless to rage against a killer, who is now dead himself. So who can I rail out against? But rage I will. I rage against the media. Yes, I know that someday I will be media myself. So let me explain this rage. As a parent, I looked at the media who swarmed the town, and reported incomplete and sometimes untrue facts. I raged against them interviewing and hounding children for an interview. Allow me to explain. During one part of a broadcast, I saw a parent observer, telling a reporter what she had “heard”. (granted there were still no confirmed facts at the moment). I watched as a reporter from a competitor tried in vain to get the little girls attention as her mother was interviewed. Everything in me screamed “GET AWAY FROM HER! SHES BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH!” there was another part of me screaming at the mother being interviewed who was so oblivious to the fact that the reporter was trying to get her daughters attention.
Where was the tact in this? Where was compassion? Where were the facts, and interviews with police officers and teachers? Not parents and their children. As the day wore on, and it was later reported that the media had identified the wrong brother, and that the father had been uninformed until the media knocked on his door, I admit, I threw my phone across the room. Stupid news apps. Was this journalism or sensationalism?
I would like to think that if I had been there, as a journalist, I wouldn’t have handled it like that. Id like to think that I would have chosen compassion. I ask myself now, how am I ever going to be the best, when I know I couldn’t have reported this story, couldn’t have written this story without shedding my own tears. That I know, I would have told my editors NO, leave the kids alone, lets seek out alternative interviews? I’m fairly sure I’d be fired on the spot. Unless I somehow find an editor that shares my bleeding heart.
Let me rage against people who are for, and are against gun control. I see both sides of the argument, and I don’t like either side. What ever happened to the art of compromise? I agree, that those who own guns should be taught gun safety. I don’t think guns should be illegal. i hate the idea of arming our teachers, but see the wisdom in it. I hate the extremist views on both sides. YOURE ALL WRONG! Those guns should have been under lock and key. That I agree with. Yet, remember we’re demonizing a woman that isn’t here to defend herself. Don’t get me wrong, I question the easy accessibility of weapons in a home where she knew her child was mentally ill. Again, we don’t have the facts. Not all of them, we don’t know how well those guns were guarded.
I rage against a world where mental illness is treated with pills when the side effects are often listed as “thoughts of suicide”. Why are we spending so much money on pharmaceuticals that have proven time and time again not to work? Why aren’t we doing more as a nation, as a world to find the underlying causes of mental illness? Why aren’t we offering more resources for parents, teachers and adults dealing with these issues? Again everyone can demonize her as a parent, but you don’t know the steps she was taking. It hasn’t been reported. You’re not sure the resources she had or didn’t have at her disposal.
Lets get to this too, the extreme views that everyone is expressing, leads me to question, how long before the extremists say it’s okay for a judge to force a parent to medicate their child? Where would the line be drawn on that? I’m against medication for ADHD, when there are proven natural remedies. After this, will there be a line in the sand?
I rage against those who blame video games and movies. Even the ancient Greeks believed that violent plays were cathargic. Living their hard lives, once a month they would spend a weekend watching plays with drama and violence, because they believed that it allowed them to release their feelings, without acting upon the rage they felt.
At last, I rage against the people who are invoking god in all of this. I rage against those who declare that “this happened because god was not in our schools.” I rage for this reason, god isn’t in a forced prayer said before a morning assembly. God isn’t in a group of people that scream that there is bad in the world because we’ve forgotten him. If god wanted to punish us, I highly doubt he would use innocent and blameless children to show us how bad we are. Is that the god that you worship? A hateful, vengeful god?
God is in the heart. Not in public forced assemblies where we declare our allegiance. God is with us in the quiet moments when we seek to find peace. God is with us, when we find beauty in a moment, or hug our children and family. For some, it is god, for some it is allah, for some it is mother earth, for some it is in science. The point is, no one has the right to force their believes upon an entire school, because as a nation we faced a tragedy. Religion and a belief system is something that should be taught in the home.
At last, I rage against the fact that rather than bringing our nation together into unity, it is tearing us further apart. I cry as I see people who have been lifelong friends angrily lining up on opposite sides of all of these issues. It is natural to seek to find blame when we don’t understand something. History has shown us that.
I choose to rage against the senselessness of it. I choose to rage against the sadness of it. I choose to combat this rage with words. I choose to combat this rage with kind acts done to other people, and trying to find compassion and empathy for all I encounter. I choose to continue to try to enlighten myself in a world where enlightenment is not always encouraged.