I had a very restless night’s sleep. I awoke feeling unsettled, but unable to figure out why. I dressed, ate and headed to my internship position, arriving at 9 AM EST. I had clients to meet and research work to do, keeping me busy all the while feeling an ever-increasing sense of despair and dysregulation…..still not knowing why. My duties at my clinical internship completed, I emerged from the building and slumped into my car to head home. That is when I heard the news. That is when I cut the engine to the car and just bawled. I physically shook. I cried and wept. And like so many of you, I tried to make sense of what I had just heard on the radio…..20 kindergarten children, mercilessly gunned down in their classroom in Connecticut, had died.
My heart truly breaks for the families, friends, and loved ones of all of this morning’s victims of this terrible mass shooting. But my sympathy is not enough. What is going on with this world? Why all the senseless violence? Why this steady stream of mass shootings? What will it take to make it stop? When will we learn? What can we do…..you and me…..to help end this horrific , tragic, loss of life?
I want to offer my opinion on this, and urge all of you to do the same. Sure, there is the ultimate personal responsibility of the perpetrator of this shooting. Certainly we can rail against the easy access to deadly weapons and guns. Yes we can investigate the mental health of this perpetrator and the awareness of his family and friends. But is that really the final answer? We have security cameras, metal detectors, and protocols in place to help prevent incidents of this nature…..but it didn’t stop this incident from taking place.
No, we have to look deeper. We do have to look at the family…..the human family. The family each and every one of us belongs to. The constant daily violations we commit against each other’s rights on a daily basis. The sense of isolation and powerlessness that so many of our family members feel that we give only a casual acknowledgement to. We need to somehow, someway, finally realize that although we are all unique…..we are all integrally connected. What we do to one, we do to all and even to ourselves.
With the intelligence, technology, and advancements that we have made in our world…..why do we still have members here on planet Earth that feel so totally and utterly alone? Where has our sense of community and brotherhood gone and how do we ever get it back? Desperate people do desperate things…..a saying as true today as it was when first spoken. I say to you that each one of us has the ability to reach out to others and help end this widespread sense of desperation. It takes a village, but it starts with just one person. It starts with me. It starts with you. We need to eliminate the worldwide cultural paradigm of control and power and shift to one of non violation….. a soul centered model in which every living being is valued and honored as part of the whole.
We are all imperfect creatures. We all have our strengths and our flaws. But at birth, we are all equally deserving. We have to instill a culture where that birthright never goes away. Tragically, sadly, the 20 children of Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut will never get to realize this birthright. Let’s band together and try to root out the causes of powerlessness and isolation and prevent this from ever happening again.
My heart and prayers are with those suffering today, all of you.
Our country is going nuts. The result of the feel good society where anything goes, cannot discipline children, we have lost a generation.
This is brilliant. You hit the nail on the head. We need to look at the family unit and at individuals who live in despair, who are violated and broken. Yes, there are mentally ill people that suffer from chemical imbalance. But for those living in lonely isolation with a steady stream of violent images and darkness at their finger tips, we need to make changes. We need to have a neighborhood watch – nationwide. We need to teach the value of love and belonging to our children. No one should get left behind. We need to soften and strive to be kinder in every way we can. Maybe with these efforts, things could slowly change.
And forgive me, but on a very personal opinion note… we need to stop taking God out of our country, as if God is a bad thing? The same energy that goes into removing messages of love and deeper meaning should go into preserving them. Is it any wonder that when we remove God and what He stands for, that our nation grows dark and evil?
Your comment is so beautiful and sadly poignant. I for one am not a fan of organized religion, but you don’t need to bring religion into a discussion of love, values, unity, and belonging to something bigger than ourselves. I agree with what you have said here and pray these changes take place quickly.
Exactly. God is not necessarily about religion. In fact, Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc. all believe in God. If anything, God unites us as brothers and sisters. The message of what God stands for is beautiful and good. Is that really something we should work to eliminate in our country? I think not. Your post is truly so thoughtful and well written. I think we’re all feeling like our society in in demise after todays events. Thanks for writing it with such clarity.
A good post. First I wanted to share my thoughts in a reply to your thoughts, but then my thoughts turned too long and complicated and I wrote them as a post on my own blog instead. You can go there and read it, if you’d like to know the details.
The bottom line is that what I think this country, or any country really, needs most is an atmosphere where everyone meets understanding, where everyone is cared about, where people accept the responsibility of caring about each other, and where processes of alienation are less likely to happen.
And in response to the comment above, the only problem I have with “God” instead of the values and stuff it stands for, is that “God” is a concept that people have such strong and often conflicting feelings about, that it so easily leads to alienation and separation instead of a feeling of community and the awareness that what makes everyone different, be it in their faith or in their humanness, is really little compared to what makes us all alike.
(Am I making sense?!)
Yes, you make valid points. And your post is great.
[…] What Is Going On With This World? The Need For A Paradigm Shift […]
Thank you for this post and thank you for visiting my site. I’m grateful for this connection. While it does seems that the bell curve on violence is tilting heavily to the dark side, there is also so much that is balancing this, that is never spoken of in the news, to model change that is possible. The paradox, dichotomies have always existed, and if the past is a predictor of the future the human condition is programmed for the continuance. Then what? I am reminded of Ghandi’s words: be the change you want the world to be. You can call it God and house it in religion, whatever that religion is, or you can leave it nameless, but for me there seems to be a light that shines within that resonates with kindness, with a love that accepts, and there does seem to be actions connected with that, which is what I feel you were writing about, your point to begin with. A kind word, taking a little time with someone, making it about them, a smile, some charitable action, replacing the “shadow” reaction (negative, toxic reaction) with kindness, even if it’s just to pause and not lash out, not neglect, not say a word that can hurt… so many possibilities, and then maybe, just maybe the scale–that bell curve, will balance out a little.
I love what you say here…..spot on. Thanks for your comment. Keep on going.
Hey, what kind of clinical place are you doing your internship in? Sounds great! Congrats! How did I not realise… I bet psychiatry??
How awful though, a day not being able to still with your thoughts that are all unsettled. I hate that, actually. It’s amazing, it’s like you knew on some level.
This is a truly heartfelt piece, truly reaching, earnest. Very human, callmecrazy.
Yep, I think my empathic abilities get the better of me at times. My internship is not in psychiatry…..it is in neuro feedback. I will explain some more in a future post. Thanks so much for your comments. Hope your holidays are awesome.