The 355th mass shooting in the 336 days took place a few days ago in San Bernardino, California. Some days there have been four shootings in one day. A company has now come out with bulletproof blankets for kids in case a shooting breaks out at school, at the doctor’s office, at the park, at the mall – wherever you might be with your child where they are now at actual risk of being shot at and killed. The day after the San Bernadino shooting the US Senate ruled against increased gun control laws like denying people on the federal terrorism watch list the ability to purchase guns, or expanding background checks for people purchasing guns online or at gun shows. A friend’s Facebook status this morning summed it up pretty well
Our lives matter less than our guns.
-The United States.
How can that be true? How can we live in a society that is so plagued by rage that the only way out is to take each other down? And how can we be so desensitized to it, so greedy, that we defend the laws that allow it to continue? How can we bastardize terms like freedom and liberty in the name of something so callous and despicable as the ability to continue to kill each other? And how can we build up huge arsenals of weaponry against “terrorists” – resting our minds on images of bearded Arab men as the violent fanatics we should be scared of – when evidence shows that it is our very own American middle class white men that we should most fear? How can we defend the continued murder of black men by law enforcement officials and ‘concerned citizens’ and the upholding of the racist beliefs that these men are the most violent in America, when again evidence proves otherwise? How can our leaders be so manipulative, so greedy, so racist and ethnocentric, and how can we the people be so easily manipulated – so easily brainwashed into caring little enough about each other that we are willing to stand by and watch our brothers and sisters fall victim to violent, untimely, senseless death?
Now, being a mother, it’s like I feel these things even more deeply. The thought of my toddler daughter growing up to be a part of a world marked by fear and anxiety. Fear of shots ringing out in broad daylight. The anxiety of being a girl in this world, this world of social pressures and nothing is good enough mentality. It is hard enough out there without guns, social media, comparison, and shame. Who needs it – hate, fear, shame, and all the rest? Why do we perpetuate these things so unconsciously when there is so much beauty available – so much love and light that we could turn towards – in each other, in this world? Why do we choose to see the dark when the light is available to us, at our fingertips?
flows inside our veins.
We are the wounders of each other,
We are the wounded.
are also the healing,
are the shelter...."
(Omid Safi from OnBeing.org)
It is interactions like this one (see video in previous post) that inspire in me the ability to parent, to exist in this world, with love and faith, rather than fear. I want to send out prayers to this sick world of ours that we can learn to heal through loving each other boundlessly and without fear. That our differences can somehow bring us together instead of inspiring us to build walls between each other or tear each other down. I want my daughter to grow up with that in her heart. With courage and love and a deep passion for this beautiful world of ours, for the people God created. I want her to grow up to feel that this world is where she belongs, and not a place to fear – to embrace it, rather than to run and hide.