Things About Madness

Enough of this.

Enough of college campuses being razed with gunfire and the future of our Nation being cut off at the knees, paralyzed by fear, paralyzed by laws and the reliance on an ineffective government, ineffective political parties, ineffective human beings.

9 people are dead today. Many more are injured. And the outcry on social media is "GUN LAWS! If we had more laws these people would not be dead!!!" The inaction of our government is nothing more than a magnification of the inaction of our people. We are, as one person said "a nation of laws, not a nation of men." Where are the men?

When a massive conservative campaign sent seismic waves into the foundations of Planned Parenthood, the social media outcry was a clash of "stop funding the slaughter of the babies!" and "keep your laws off my body!" Once again, demonstrating the reliance on a political monolith that is a hologram at best.

Inaction is not a solution, any more than shaking one's fist from the rooftops shouting the shortcomings of political parties and lawmakers and governments is. We are so busy as a nation being offended by every single thing that we are DOING nothing.

Personal responsibility is the only pathway out of this mess. Making laws about guns will not take them out of the hands of the truly desperate any more than defunding Planned Parenthood will make abortions stop.  Killing police officers will not end centuries of a racially defined culture any more than violent rioting will enhance the culture of your own city.

America, we are doing it wrong.

Do not look to the legislators mired in superflous spellbinding on TV, to the courts and judges, to the lobbyists running frantic circles under the watchful eye of megacorporations with much Bigger Interests than the saving of a human life.

Look to yourself, America. Look to your own children. Look to the ones next door. Parent the parentless. Listen to our kids. Hear them. Listen to your neighbors. Give them understanding. Give them time, energy. Give them as much devotion as you do to watching The Voice, for God's sake. Stand in the classroom of your own son or daughter, and see the unloved ones. Volunteer your resources, your vision, your passion, your love. Let them be heard. Help the students sitting next to you in class know that you SEE them. You HEAR them. That life is beautiful, life is precious.

See the broken heart and the devastated soul in the back of the room. The one who knows only life as loss and ruin. Reach out to them to the length and breadth of you, and when you have reached your end, then find the resources beyond you to help them.

We are all so consumed with our own petty worlds.

"Take away the guns so they can't shoot us!"

"Take away abortion so they can't offend us!"

"Take away the power of Law Enforcement so they can't abuse it!"

We can't see the dead eyes of the shooter behind the gun. We can't see the heart of the would-be mother behind the abortion. We can't see the life saving officer behind the uniform that our own lack of self government has caused us to fear.

We will not answer, in the end, for either our lack or our prolifery of gun laws, abortion laws, or government mandated social programs. We will, in the end, answer for the time and the heart that we invested into the people that surround us. We will answer for the ones who had guns either legally or illegally acquired that we didn't hear. That we didn't see. The would-be mothers with stories that we didn't take the time to listen to. The good cops that we didn't value as our last line of defense from the Chaos. We will answer for the children that we didn't educate - not in algebra and grammar, but in humanity and personal responsibility.

An abortion doesn't happen because Planned Parenthood allows it, it happens for a myriad of reasons that all go back to the heart behind the womb in question. A mass murder doesn't happen because the gun willed it, it happens because a soul was unheard, unseen, was allowed to slip through the cracks of family and community. Cracks which are ever widening in our self-absorbed, self-protecting, self-interested culture.

Don't scream from the rooftop and shake your fist at the capitol. Don't expect the lawmakers to save any babies. Teach your children to love one another. Teach your neighbors compassion. Teach your students empathy and the Fine Art of Listening. Start your own social movement in your living room and let it radiate out to the loveless, the parentless, the heartless. Find the resources that are out there, churches of every imaginable bent, organizations of every imaginable mission, people of every imaginable experience. Get off your high horse and get the hell involved.

We can't prevent every tragedy. If we could we would be more divine than human. But we can, as individuals, become involved in the lives immediately around us, and to some small measure, begin to stem the tide of this madness.

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