Let us be better than we have, thus far.
I planned to sit down this evening to write about a totally different topic, but found it impossible to push the images of frantic men and women running for their lives last night in Las Vegas out of my head. Since we woke up this morning we have all been inundated with a series of graphic videos that will be etched into our personal and collective consciousness for the foreseeable future. For me, this tragedy struck like a ton of bricks, shaking me into a state of reevaluation and a shift in perspective.
Over the last few months and years we have all been preoccupied with ratcheting up the division in our country. All of us are to blame in some shape or form — whether that be directly contributing to our devolving culture of growing hate or indirectly, by doing nothing about it. We have watched as politics and “our side versus theirs” mentality completely consume our society in a way that we haven’t seen in decades, if not longer. We hold certain issues and talking points in such high regard, that we lose perspective on how our often times misguided passion affects the big picture.
As I scrolled through my Twitter feed today, I saw a conglomeration of personalities. The appeal for prayers were many, but so too were those pivoting to political agendas and blindly entrenched ideology. People brazenly propagated false information, incoherently ranted about gun control, and slung criticism at anybody and everybody just to get a few extra hits on social media. We saw it from layman and leader alike. I’m a political creature by nature, but this level of politicization and angst in a moment of tragedy deeply troubles me.
“Those bullets were blind. They subscribed to no race, creed, religion, or ideology except that of pure evil.”
We all need to slow down. We need to really think about what’s important in our lives. Let’s be honest, certain things in our lives that we think are important, really aren’t. Many of our priorities are fleeting and hollow, serving only as a distraction from the foundational aspects of our existence. Our petty rivalries and pointless political bickering should never supplant the importance of our family, faith, and friends.
All day I watched those videos and couldn’t help but see my girlfriend, my brother, my sister, my parents and my grandparents in that crowd. I saw my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Those bullets were blind. They subscribed to no race, creed, religion, or ideology except that of pure evil. What we all witnessed could have happened to any one of us or the ones we love. Let’s not waste our time on things that do not matter.
In moments of tragedy we always see a glimpse of the goodness in all of us. We have seen it a few times in recent weeks. First, in response to the three devastating hurricanes that swept across America and her territories, and then last night as average people leapt into action, many under direct gunfire, to help strangers they didn’t even know. But when the crisis has passed and the news cameras pack up, we slip back into our routine of attacking each other. We need to pledge to capture those moments of goodness and strive to perpetuate them at all times and in all aspects of our lives. As we pray for those that lost and continue to fight for their lives tonight, let’s also pray for unity. Let’s pray for peace. And let’s pray that we can play a role in bringing people together, rather than serving as an agent of division.
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