|sexy or skan-k... oh.|
I sat with my visceral emotional reaction to the news and watched as it faded and eventually left my body. I chose not to check the news on my way back to the office or talk to anyone else about it but did end up on Facebook and witnessed reactions all across the spectrum. I read a lot about gun control. A lot less about mental health. I read about a lot of sadness, heartache, prayers, and light. I read a lot of anger.
At first the anger bothered me. Don't people know that this kind of reactive hatred is why we exist in a world where this kind of things happened? ...I thought to myself
But I know that denying and suppressing anger doesn't make anything any better either so I stepped back from that and waited for what came next. Eventually I realized I wasn't bothered by the anger, I was still a little bothered by the hate, but what really concerned me was the fear.
In fear we are reactive. We are quick to judge and act on those judgments. There are calls to arms, which is fine... whatever gets people moving in a direction toward change, but can we stop for a moment and take a breath first? Do you usually make your best decisions when you're in the midst of an intense and painful emotional response? I don't. And beyond that, do you find that your energy for the pursuit of this action wanes as your body and brain settles down again? I do.
While I am more for gun control than against... and more for mental health services than against... and more for peace than against... what I'm for most of all is love. I don't believe that any fear based reaction to tragedy is going to move any of us in a sustainable effort towards growth or positive change.
So sure, let's evaluate gun control... yes, let's talk about the stigma of mental health services as a way to diminish it... definitely, let's talk about how to love one another. But let's not just do it today and for the next several weeks because we're afraid of what happens when we don't... let's keep talking about it. every day.