“People don’t like to think, if one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.” – Helen Keller
Usually I write something for this section about what has occurred in my life, what I learned from the experience, and what relevance it might have to your own life. Today, I write not about what has happened to myself, but about the essence of myself and, hopefully, you. As I write this, we are only a few days removed from another school shooting tragedy that left twenty-seven people dead with twenty of them being six to seven year old children. No motive has been announced about why a young, twenty year old man – who killed himself when hearing about incoming police opposition – took so many innocent lives in Newtown, CN Friday morning, but speculation is running rampant. The sad part is, like most cases similar to this one, we’ll never know why this happened simply because the killer was too afraid to face the consequences of his actions.
While the question of, “Why?” will continue for days, months, years, and maybe even until the day we all pass, there is an obvious problem in society that is causing situations like this to happen. It’s not necessarily about gun control as evident by what happened in China the same day where a man stabbed and cut nearly two-dozen children with a knife, but gun control is probably a good start. The incident in central China ended without a single fatality. Using the same mentality of countries as Japan and many other areas of the eastern hemisphere in regards to gun control isn’t the only solution to the problem.
For some reason, the connection between problematic thinking and consequences has been severely lost. Yes, there’s a possibility that the men who committed the atrocities in Newtown, China, and in a theater full of young people in Aurora, Colorado this past summer have/had mental illnesses that no doctor could cure. There’s a great chance that those same individuals cracked under the pressures of life and weren’t paid attention to. Without an attentive support system, their thinking process turned haywire and their ability to understand the consequences of their actions was completely lost – giving up the process that could make or break their and many others’ lives.
I had a conversation with my father a mere few hours after the Newtown shooting, with him trying to make sense of the incident like so many others. By the conclusion of our talk, my dad made a statement that I asked him to repeat. Not remembering the phrase he threw out so haphazardly, I reminded him of his words, “I don’t feel like thinking.”
Now this isn’t a shot at my dad as he is one of the key reasons why I cognate the way I do. At an early age, he, my mother, grandparents and a colorful cast of characters that is my family educated me on the ways of thinking about life in more ways than one way. Through their experiences, both past and present, I was able to understand the triumphs and tragedies of life; process what their actions were in response of those situations; take in the consequences of their contemplating and follow up repercussions. Some of those results were positive and some negative. The fact of the matter is that no matter what, I was taught to think about almost everything. Yes, there are times when emotions get the better of you, or impromptu situations that take split-second reactions won’t allow you to fully mentally process your choices.
But when problems like school shootings arise, the people behind these tragedies have deliberated thoroughly about what they are planning to do, yet don’t realize the conclusion of their actions will leave more people suffering than just themselves. The darkness and hopelessness that runs through the shooter’s or shooters’ very beings at that moment will spread to those who come to the realization that they’ll never see their loved ones in this world again.
Sometimes we look for complicated solutions to the simplest problems. This writing is in no way condemnation of the parenting skills of mothers and fathers who had children that grew up to be murders and terrorists. This is a call to arms; a request for all parents out there to really pay attention to their children be it if they still live under your roof or have gone off to continue their lives elsewhere. Teach and/or remind them that everything you do in life has a consequence for not only oneself, but also others around you. Educate them that life’s trials are not easy, but can be conquered in one way or another without taking your life or the lives of others. And most importantly, make them understand that putting your current problems in perspective and choosing the most positive outcome is the only way to live – that hurting others to make the world feel your pain is despicable. This is a scary time in the world, and we must use the light of peace and enlightenment to clear the darkness from our clogged minds.