I woke up this morning to two things.
The first was two postings on Facebook by someone complaining about the taxes he has to pay to take care of those who won’t take care of themselves and how the U.S. government is fucking us. The second was an IPhone notification about the theater shooting #theatershooting in Aurora, Colorado, just a few miles down the road from me. The stark contrast struck me and has been sitting with me all morning.
As the victims, their families and friends are grappling with death of their loved ones and this horrific event, others are angrily espousing there discontent with our country on Facebook.
My Facebook stream is continually bombarded by angry, deprecating, divisive and incendiary posts targeted at Obama, Romney, the rich, the poor, and our government. I continually find myself chiming in, frustrated with such unproductive messages that only drive division among us. It’s sad and disappointing.
In light of today’s horrific event, the negativity and anger continually espoused on Facebook seems even more senseless and divisive.
I don’t have any grand illusions that the Colorado theater shooting will bring us together or stop the confrontation, but I do hope it does.
I’m a HUGE debater as many of you know. I’m not afraid to tackle the tough issues. I believe in dialog and discent. I believe we need to express ourselves and our feelings. But, I feel we have degenerated well below constructive debate. We are quick to attack the neighbor who doesn’t share our political beliefs. We attack our President as an evil doer. We are becoming increasingly intolerant. I feel we have lost site of the fact we are still one country with a great legacy and great opportunity.
What happened today is awful! It’s sad and disappointing. I can’t help but wonder if it is a result of the angry, divisive and lack of civil discourse this country has been embattled in for the last several years. I can’t help but wonder if our anger, our contempt for one another, our contempt for differing opinions, our divisive media, our partison society is a quiet or hidden undercurrent in these types of tragedies.
We are one country. We all have the same hopes and dreams. We all have families who love us. We all have dreams we are chasing. We are all a lot more similar than we are different. Yet, our messages, our outrage, our anger is spilling over, moving us further and further apart.
12 Americans were killed today and 50 were wounded while trying to watch a movie. They weren’t shot by a Republican or a Democrat. They weren’t shot by Obama or Romney. They weren’t shot because taxes were too low or too high. They weren’t shot by someone who is rich or poor. They were shot by a person. They were people; someones daughter, someones son, someones father, someones mother, they were friends, and they were siblings. It could have been anyone of us.
Let’s argue, debate and be passionate about our country, but let’s add some civility. Let’s stop making the those who think differently the enemy. Let’s add some civility to our discourse. Let’s stop the senseless attacks and remember, in the end, we are more similar than we are different.
In an effort to trigger the change, there is a meme growing on Twitter to encourage you to do a random act of kindess. I ask, in memory of the victims of this tragedy, do something kind and special for a stranger today. Maybe, just maybe , it might be the beginning of bringing us together and add some sense to the senseless.
I can only hope.