Since Las Vegas, it is weighing heavily on me that we cannot seem to unify as a nation under any circumstances. It used to take mass shootings or a massive terrorist attack to attach humanity to one another, to unify as a nation in mourning.
When you ask anyone who was an adult when 9/11 took place what the atmosphere of the country was, they will tell you everyone seemed kinder. There was compassion for each other on the simple basis that we are all human beings and our life is so brief and so fragile and everyone understood it was futile to treat each other like the monsters responsible for the act.
Now, one side will talk about how the other side is just as bad as the guy who pulled the trigger because they won’t reform gun laws and the other side will tell them to stop using a tragedy to push their political agenda, again. And nothing will change, again. Maybe certain gun laws would have prevented the shooter from having a high capacity magazine, maybe less people would have died. Maybe.
As much as I like talking about politics, I’m not interested in talking about the politics of this shooting right now because that’s what everyone else is doing so they don’t need another voice to echo away those useless talking points. I’m interested in talking about the unity we have within us. I want everyone to know that even though you may disagree on solutions, why it happened, how it could have been prevented or whatever else, we all wanted this to have never taken place. So please think things through when you are speaking about this, present your ideas and your response to those ideas in an understanding manner.
Stephen Paddock represents the evil of humanity. What he is, is in us. But what Martin Luther King Jr. was, is in us too. Whichever part of you that you feed is the side that will grow, and the other side will slowly starve and fizzle away.
Do not feed Stephen Paddock by engaging in hate towards your opposition. Feed MLK Jr. and love your enemy, understand why they believe what they do, engage in a civil conversation that each side will be able to get something from.
And most of all, understand that hurling insults and accusations toward each other only furthers the divide, feeds the hate and will not convince anyone to join your side. It makes each side entrench themselves further and see the opposition as nothing more than an enemy. You must treat each other like humans. To end this, here is a quote from The Great Dictator (1940) by the Barber, “Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost…. The aeroplane and the radio [and now the internet] have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men – cries out for universal brotherhood – for the unity of us all.”
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