Is There Really A Solution To Violence? [Opinion]
I am absolutely heartbroken over the events of the weekend. Christina Grimmie, a former contestant on The Voice, was shot and killed at a meet & greet after a concert and then 50 people were killed and 53 injured after a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Orlando. WHAT IS GOING ON?
I feel like these events have become so normal in our country that I have become numb to it all. I listen to the politicians argue back and forth on what is going to fix all of this and why we need this and that. I hear everyone say we need to stand together and love is strong than hate. I hear it's a gun problem. I hear it's a lack of gun problem. I hear it's a mental health problem. I hear it's a religious problem. I hear it's a refugee problem, a parenting problem, school system, equality, homeland security, bullying, video games, internet and technology, left wing, right wing, socio-economic gap problem. So, WHICH one is it? Do we really think any ONE of these things is going to completely eliminate the issue? Really?
I look back into each generation and what their problems and issues were. I specifically look at my parents generation. My parents will be 64 and 65 this summer. Did all of the concerns above exist? No. But were there versions of each one of these? Sure there were. It may not have been ISIS attacks, but in the south there were killings and outrageous discrimination against a whole race. There may not have been internet and bullying but there was major drug addictions and an AIDS epidemic.
Each era has had its dilemma's and fears. War and crimes of hate and its own versions of violence. But what solved the issues? Or were they ever really solved? Or was there just a band-aid put on.
I am reminded that in the wake of these quick and violent acts that there is still a homeless epidemic. Millions of people in the country don't have a living wage. We have millions of children who are malnourished and do not even get to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. Hundreds of thousands of American's are obese and will likely die from heart failure or complications with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Far too many college students are graduating with debt that will take them a life time to pay off. And the list goes on.
If we look at the issues above, the people that are affected by those issues far exceed the amount of people who die each year in mass shootings. Now, I am not being insensitive to the people who have lost their lives in those and I would never wish that death or event on ANYONE. However, when I am looking at what I can do to help... I feel hopeless in the field of gun control or even beginning to understand who should come to America and be a citizen.
But I do know that I can make a difference somewhere. I can volunteer at the food bank here in Billings once a month to make sure that families are getting the meals they need. I can go to the gym a few times a week or everyday if I want to stay healthy and in shape. I can go to schools and talk about the importance of a balanced diet. I can work hard to get my debt paid off so I am not just another number contributing to our nations debt. I can be humble and kind. I can keep mean comments to myself and help others. When I have a family, I can teach my children the value of a human life and what respect looks like.
I only have the power to change myself and how I react. If I take care of me and help take care of my community, then I think that's a step in the right direction. If each person simply did those two things, I honestly believe with all my heart that every single one of the problems listed above, violent or not, would start to disappear. It starts with self. And no one, including the government, can change that. It has to be you.
Now, I know that nice little ol' me helping my community can't stay out of harms way. It's just the way of the world. But, what will I be remembered by? How will I have lived by life in the dash? Between the numbers on that tombstone.... Did I leave destruction or did I leave a legacy?