I am reposting an entry that I wrote two years ago (2/14/08) after a school shooting. My mind has been racing today with thoughts and concerns about what is happening in Japan and how we are reacting to it. This weekend, I’m going to do a three-part series on this topic.
For now, I will leave you with this repost to consider. I will have much more to say tomorrow, when time is on my side (thanks be to Jagger).
2/14/08: Avoiding The Numbness of it all.
A while ago, after 9/11, after space shuttle explosions, after snipers on the prowl around DC, Virginia, and Maryland, after all of that, i watched my daughter grow numb to this kind of news. To her, it is simply a part of her life, part of the norm. Yeah, it’s important to stay informed, but there’s no real need to check CNN any more frequently than the Weather Channel, right?
I heard about the shooting on my way home from school today on CNN Radio. I found myself simply destroyed–initially–by the news, but CNN treated it as if it were an inconsiderate tragedy treading none-too-lightly on the political landscape of what lies ahead.
And for a moment, I went along with it. I got numb, just a bit, but numb nonetheless.
I could feel my body, my mind, my heart accepting this tragedy for what it was: just another horrifying incident on a school campus. Let’s turn right over to the TV page, shall we, and see what time LOST comes on tonight.
I pinched myself–literally–and cried out a whimper from the brief, sharp pain. And then it was gone. I was back to CoffeeHouse Rock. I was back to checking out the traffic along 695. I was back in my present, blinders on, eyes straight ahead. All is good.
Numb is what we become, though, isn’t it? How many memorials do we drive by when going through intersections? How many people die a senseless death before we start analyzing the colors of the flowers, the creativity of the whittled cross, the token pictures left nailed to trees.
How long before we forget that a death even occurred?
Maybe we’re becoming numb because this is our world, just like it is my daughter’s world. It’s replacing all we ever knew to be true, to be right. We are just learning how to…….survive. Differently.
I can’t write this enough (although I wish far fewer tragedies would have ever happened, prompting me to write such words): Love the one you’re with, call/text/facebook somebody you haven’t seen in a while and tell them hello. Especially today. Valentine’s Day.
Spread love. Words of hope. Words of encouragement. We’re all in it together. Let’s act like that means something.