by Kathryn Jane
I’m a creative. I write, paint, make things with my hands. This means I spend a great deal of time in my own head.
When I’m writing, my characters occupy that empty space quite nicely, but when I’m painting and creating other things like reality tend to seep in, and whatever is going on around me gets a lot of airtime.
The horrible event in Florida last week has been front and center in my mind and all over social media, and while I could have blogged today about the book I’m writing, I would rather talk about our very human reactions to what happened in a school that was for many of us, far, far, away. (I’m even in a different country, but this tragedy has been all over our news for days.)
While Facebook has been filled with anger and panic-generated rhetoric, I did come across links to a few well written blogs that resonated with me. Gave me food for thought, and I agree with some of what I found.
Below, I’ve shared a tidbit from each of three which stuck with me–mostly because of their different perspectives–and gave me food for thought. I hope you find the same.
Engineering, Parenthood, and a Solid Attempt at Adult Status
“FUCK YOU, I LIKE GUNS”
“Military style rifles have been the choice du jour in the incidents that have made our country the mass shootings capitol of the world. Formula One cars aren’t good for commuting. Cheetahs are bitey. Professional grade fireworks will probably take your hand off. All but one of these are common sense to the average American. Let’s fix that. Be honest, you don’t need that AR-15. Nobody does. Society needs them gone, no matter how good you may be with yours. Kids are dying, and it’s time to stop fucking around.” For the full article:
“How to Stop Violence
Mentally ill people aren’t killers. Angry people are.
By Laura L. Hayes
Violence is not a product of mental illness. Nor is violence generally the action of ordinary, stable individuals who suddenly “break” and commit crimes of passion. Violent crimes are committed by violent people, those who do not have the skills to manage their anger. Most homicides are committed by people with a history of violence. Murderers are rarely ordinary, law-abiding citizens, and they are also rarely mentally ill. Violence is a product of compromised anger management skills.” For the complete article:
“There’s a Way to Stop Mass Shootings, and You Won’t Like It
“Notice those around you who seem isolated, and engage them.”
If every one of us did this we’d have a culture that was deeply committed to ensuring no one was left lonely. And make no mistake, as I’ve written before loneliness is what causes these shooters to lash out. People with solid connections to other people don’t indiscriminately fire guns at strangers.” Full article here:
And then there is Emma, a student who was there. She lays it all on the table, with passion, and I find myself rooting for her, wanting her to one day become president.
“Florida student Emma Gonzalez to lawmakers and gun advocates: ‘We call BS’”
“Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving. But instead we are up here standing together because if all our government and President can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see.”
I am one small person in Canada without any way to change what happens to my friends in the USA. I don’t know the answers to the problems. But I’m still certain of one thing which has been deeply ingrained in me for many years, in spite of what many might call an unusual upbringing.
People spreading LOVE will change the world.
Yep. One at a time we will make a difference… and yesterday in my own community, I saw proof of that.
Somewhere close to me, an unnamed entity set something in motion which drastically changed the ambience and landscape of what used to be beautiful. First houses and businesses were boarded up, and then just a couple of days ago a company was brought in and all the trees were stripped from the property. What used to be green and beautiful became barren and sad.
Instead of angrily ranting about the person/people who set this ugliness upon us, instead of crying over the weeping stumps, a group of us got together, and fought the ugliness with positives. We took one lone section of fence, and painted a message of LOVE to be seen by anyone passing by, and especially for those made sad by what had happened to a neighborhood.
The remarkable thing was that all of us felt better and better as we worked, AND, bonus, everyone passing by stopped to remark on the project and tell us they were impressed by our attitudes and message. Neighbors walked over to chat, and cars slowed while their drivers smiled, waved, and gave us a thumbs up.
It was a win.
And it changed the atmosphere in a very positive and uplifting way.
After days of watching the horrors in Florida, aching for the loss of children–and the adults trying to protect them–and being battered by the online vitriol, we had a lightening of the heart. Not much in the grand scheme of things, but it changed our little piece of the world.
Here’s the project as we left it on Friday… since then, it’s been added to several times, and we will continue adding until there is no space left at all 😀
My latest book, Into the Sunrise, is a story about a woman who takes all the cr*p life flings at her, and finds her own way out of the dark. In the sunrise, she not only discovers a passion for saving children, but even finds her way to great love.