In the wake of the Connecticut shooting, everyone is asking, “Why?”
I can guess as well as anyone.
“So much is wrong with our society today” – bet you hear that all the time. So what IS wrong?
I’m going to start with God. It’s not that we’ve taken Him out of our schools, but that we’ve relegated Him to nothing more than “prayers, please!” If that. Sometimes a lot less. Sometimes we equate Him with mythology; sometimes we deny His existence. Sometimes we simply shrug and say, “Well, I’m a good person.”
Remember when… everyone went to church every Sunday, unless like, where I grew up, there were a lot of Jewish kids? Yeah, they went to temple on Saturday. We all did it. In fact, driving around, looking at Christmas lights when I was a kid, there were very few homes without lights. And those had a Menorah in the window.
My point is that we all lived our religion, our God.
Today, not so much. It’s not just that we may have stopped attending church, but that we slip further and further away from God. We justify our actions by claiming it’s “modern times” and “today’s culture.”
Am I claiming divine wisdom? No. Am I blaming God for this? No. Am I a religious nutjob? Nope.
But I am saying that, because we’ve moved farther away from God, the rest of our lives have followed suit. Used to be very few people cursed out loud – my apologies to any sailors, but you all remember that phrase; now, it’s common. We’ve gotten lax. Whatever’s in our heads comes flying out of our mouths. It’s normal to hear F-bombs dropped in restaurants, grocery stores, malls, everywhere.
Sure, it’s “harmless.” Maybe.
We think nothing of cheating on taxes, returning a used item as new, lying to get a “good deal.” Then we brag about it. Our government, our elected officials, are supposed to be above reproach – if they’re not, if they’re getting away with things, why can’t we? If our neighbor does it, why can’t we?
Falling, farther and faster. And those who deny God, who claim He doesn’t exist, I’m quite sure you don’t believe that. Someday you might. And some of you will undoubtedly tell me that God wouldn’t “allow” this to happen. No, He wouldn’t, but we blew that a long time ago – take it up with Adam, you remember hearing about the Garden of Eden, yes?
God is the Biggie, for sure. Then we have the political correctness.
What? How does that fit in?? What does this have to do with the Connecticut shooting?
Here’s my take on it:
We handle kids like delicate eggshells. We tell them they’re great, and wonderful, and stupendous. All that self-esteem BS. Then they commit a crime, and they go to prison, and our jails are filled with people with out-of-this-world self-esteem. Or, they take automatic weapons and kill a bunch of people. Kids. Children. Babies.
We don’t let kids be kids – we don’t “allow” them to shove each other, to get dirty, to even yell at each other or HUG each other, or their teachers. There’s always a lawsuit. Or something. Or they get “counseling,” and talk about feelings. But they’re never allowed to show those feelings, especially anger. Maybe if they’d been allowed to show some anger, to get it out as a legitimate feeling, they wouldn’t crack up later.
Sure, give everyone “access” to mental health care. Ha. Do you know how hard it is to get help for someone? Do you? I do. It’s impossible, and you know why? Because no one will ever blame the person who needs help. They blame everyone else – oh, your mom wouldn’t let you do whatever you wanted? Your dad made you rake leaves? Oh, you poor thing, it’s okay, you are SPECIAL, you can DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.
Hey, kids are special – but that doesn’t mean they’re smart or perfect. It means each one is who he is, and sometimes they need help controlling their behavior, and if so, let them know it, let them own it.
And here’s one more thing: counseling for the survivors. Absolutely. The kids who were present, and who were absent today; the adults involved. But really – today, I’ve seen a lot of links and how-to articles on explaining this tragedy to your kids. Really? Really?? What’s to explain? And why?
Let them be kids. If they ask, answer in an age-appropriate manner. If they show signs of fear, or anxiety, sit down and ask what’s bothering them. Maybe it’s not even Connecticut. Why in the world would you sit down and have a heart-to-heart about all this mess? Be a parent, be the adult, and suck it up. Ditto for every other tragedy that marginally affects your family, like a house fire in the next town or a kidnapping or a child molestation or some other vile crime. Sure, you’re scared for your kids – but you don’t have to scare them!
Don’t blame God, or the mental health system. And for Pete’s sake, don’t blame guns. One person did something so horrible, so terrible, that there are no words for it. Would he have killed fewer children without a gun? Probably. I know that matters a great deal to the parents of these children, but who’s to say which ones would or would not have survived? He still would have killed. Would it be any less terrible if he’d used another weapon? A knife? A machete? A shotgun?
Blame the people who allowed everything to get so unbelievably out-of-control: us. We did it, we all did it. We’re the ones responsible.