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Sticks and Stones and Names All Hurt

Updated: Mar 25


As I sit here numbly trying to process another senseless shooting, I can’t help but wonder what drives people to buy an AR style weapon and carry out a plan they, undoubtedly, have thought about for some time.


Often, the shooters are said to be mentally unbalanced.


Bullied, people say, at some point in their lives.


My guess is their revenge is to take innocent lives unaware. It seems to be something they almost always do.

They boil over.

Explode.

Perhaps as a twisted way for wanting to be seen.


It strikes me in an unsettling way that, at the core, these killers lead relatively invisible lives.


The recent suspect in Boulder is said to have been kicked off the wrestling team for bouts of uncontrollable rage. The Atlanta shooter is said to have been kicked out of his parents’ house and have an addiction to pornography. Their rage and anger presented itself as needing to “get back” at people by doing something heinous and big scale.


They are both just 21 years old.


As the debate will continue to go on “ad nauseum” on Capitol Hill about what came first, the rights to gun or the rights to victims, we still are faced with the same problem. Every. Single. Day.


Teachers, do you know someone in your classes that has lost the feeling of self-worth? You know the one. He plays alone on the playground, is never asked into groups, or is pushed away just for being different?


How many times have you sat at a Parent-Teacher conference and wondered if you should point out this socialization problem?


How many times have parents tried to deal with it, so ill-equipped, so over protective?


How many schools, lucky enough to have counselors, can actually catch this child before it’s too late?


As a person with so much on your plate, right now, do you throw up your hands and say that isn’t my job?


Because, right now, our society is failing our kids at this social/emotional level, and I am telling you, you can’t give up this piece.


Not now.


Young adults are not equipped to deflect the growing rage within. It is like they know the difference between right and wrong, but they don’t care or can't adjust.


We have lost the empathy piece to leadership. Our most recent adult examples are to show up in angry mobs to spew terrible, unspeakable words at authority. When someone breaks the law, we show up in droves to buck every law set down to keep us safer. Some carry those same guns.


What is the message here?


There has to be a better way to teach people to deal with their feelings.


We are all to blame for not seeing things from someone else’s point of view.

Where has empathy gone?


Educators. Parents. Churches. All of us. Our examples should be given at a basic human level. Like teaching please and thank you.


Names do more harm than sticks and stones. They lead to high powered retaliation.


I am, in no way, giving any individual a pass for an unconscionable crime of mass murder.

It makes me sick and sad and angry.


I am hoping that as a society, we do better, so this type of thing remains unconscionable.

Thanks for listening.


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