In the wake of yet another senseless mass shooting in California, when we’ve had yet to recover from the horror of the attacks in France…. I felt many things. First and foremost a deep, deep sadness that seems to have become a way of life in this nation, perhaps the world. I felt anger of course, especially when I heard that these people had a six month old daughter that they left with family to go and carry out these acts. What?… What compels someone to do such a thing, let alone leave behind that legacy to your six month old child? A legacy that she will have to live with the rest of her life? A legacy of horror and make no mistake about it, terror. Regardless of race or religion….anyone who commits these acts upon humanity is a terrorist! My heart bleeds for this child. My heart bleeds for this nation, for this wayward world of discontent.
As a parent, you worry incessantly about everything that affects your child’s life, no matter how old they are. But I think back to my own young adulthood in the 80’s and wonder…. what’s changed since then exactly? I mean, my family worried about things of course, but never in all the time I was growing up did they ever worry about if I was coming home. Now…. every single time a loved one steps out the door….. We all worry. There seems to be no place safe any longer. It can happen anywhere….. at anytime.
And I got to thinking…… What are the answers? Are there any? Is it a gun issue? I don’t necessarily think so. As a nation, in the unsafe world that has become commonplace, being unable to defend ourselves….. definitely not an option. I believe it is an issue of discontent. As a nation, as a race, as a world in general. There are more people out there who are generally unhappy with life. It has become like a poison that has infected our society and caused us to lash out at those around us.
Think about it…. from the people who have worked like dogs their whole lives to achieve “The American Dream” only to have it ripped away from them in the job market. The way people are so callously tossed aside after giving a company their undying loyalty and find themselves suddenly with nothing left to believe in. Discontent.
I’m not sure the “American Dream” even exists anymore in this country, when you have kids coming out of college who can’t get ahead because they’re drowning in student loan debt before they ever get started living. Discontent. And you can’t even come out of college and be sure of a job either, unlike our parents where college pretty much guaranteed moving up the ladder from where their parents started. Discontent.
People out there working two, even three jobs just to keep their families fed and roofs over their heads…. They’re tired and they have no time to enjoy the family they’re working so hard to support. Discontent. Hell, you can’t even GO to your job anymore without constantly having to sell yourself, better yourself, up-sell something to someone that no one wants….. Employers expect more, and more, and MORE from their employees….. and if they don’t get it…. bam, your replaced by two other people standing in line waiting for your job. Hmmmm, discontent perhaps? You can’t go to your job and DO your job anymore! It’s all about being constantly micromanaged at every turn. And people wonder why people “snap”.
Our society breeds discontent. It’s all around us. Everywhere you turn. Just in the everyday things such as the prices going up for everything from groceries to fun extras that people can afford less and less of. The prices keep going up, but guess what…. the quality keeps going down. Why? Because every corporation is more worried about their bottom line than the product they’re actually producing! This breeds discontent. Discontent from the workers who know the products are less than they should be, yet they’re working harder to produce them because they are in fear for their jobs. Discontent from the consumer who buys the product, only to have to replace it five years later! It used to be that America especially, took great pride in making a quality product that lasted like the entire lifetime of a family for the most part. Shit, our parents had washing machines, and refrigerators our whole lives growing up….. which explains the horrific color schemes like Harvest Gold that we had to endure looking at our entire childhoods. Now, your lucky if your washing machine lasts 10 years! It’s pathetic! Do you think this breeds discontent in the world? Frustration perhaps?
Now, I am not suggesting that a faulty refrigerator is the cause of a mass shooting. But what I’m saying is the cumulative aspect of all of these things is enough to drive a discontented people. Which leads me to my next topic….. Mental health.
You now have a breakdown of people’s psyche. People are more anxious, depressed and unhappy. Now, if your lucky enough to have healthcare, perhaps you can receive treatment for your issue. If so, you are very fortunate. But many, many people cannot. I suffer from both anxiety and depression…. I also have healthcare….. the issue is, in order to get treatment….. the constant co-pays can drive you into bankruptcy court. Not to mention the stigma that still exists regarding such matters. People don’t want to be depressed…. They just want to go to work, pay their bills, feed their families and maybe have a few niceties in their home before they leave this world. Not too much to ask for right? But more and more people are not able to do those basic things. Thus…. depression, defeat, anxiety set in…. all of this equals…. you guessed it….Discontent.
Hello! This is not rocket science people. We are a nation/world of discontented people. No one can open their mouths anymore without offending someone! Give me a break!! When did this great nation become such a civilization of cry babies?? Everyone is entitled to an opinion and a voice….. yet, slowly that too is being stripped away from us. Here’s the thing…. I don’t have to agree with your opinion, but I can respect it…. maybe even learn from it! That’s what this nation was built upon. If you can’t agree…. Then damnit, agree to disagree and move the hell on!! Not everything needs to be agreed upon all the time. And just because I disagree with your opinion, doesn’t mean I can’t still call you “friend”. A lot could be accomplished in this world if people didn’t make everything an issue! Pick your battles people!
Listen…. I don’t pretend to have the answers here, I really don’t. But the thing is, if we as a people could just maybe go back to our basic understanding in say….kindergarten…. Basic human kindness, tolerance, sharing, use your indoor voices, no hitting…. that sort of thing….. Then maybe there could be hope for us as a human race. You go to your corner, I’ll go to mine. I’ll share my meal with you, you wash my car for me. If we took care of each other like humans…. do unto others as you would have done to you…. that sort of thing. I know it sounds idealistic, I really do. But if we treated each other with respect and respected each others boundaries instead of attacking each other. If we listened instead of judged, we’d go a long way in helping the mental health situation in this world. If more value were placed on our employees and the pride in our ability to prosper as both a nation and an individual were embraced, then maybe we could breech some of the discontent in our world. Settle our differences with these very basic values again…..
Then perhaps…. just maybe….
And let’s not forget faith….hope… and love. No, God isn’t going to fix this….. but through his people, his believers…. that is how he gets his work done. People have taken him out of the equation…. But whoever your personal God is, that deity should be based on those very basic principles….
Faith… that tomorrow will be a better day.
Hope… that the world will still exist, in a better place for our children.
… And Love, that we should love one another… help one another, fight for life together and not against each other…. and Love for all living beings…. and basic human life.