Another tragedy. Another mass shooting.
The same reactions. The same comments on social media. The same satiric cartoons. The same charts, graphs, and statistics. The same old rhetoric.
What wasn’t the same was my reaction. As I scrolled through my social media accounts and saw the tears, anger, frustration I didn’t feel the same way I did last time. I felt what I can only describe as nothing.
This concerns me.
I don’t want to feel nothing when tragedy strikes. That’s the wrong reaction. But it wasn’t even a reaction. It was a non-reaction. I wasn’t surprised to hear about another mass shooting. I knew it would happen at some point.
I expected it.
We shouldn’t have to expect another mass shooting. I can remember exactly where I was when Challenger blew up. When Princess Diana Died. 911. These were unexpected and shocking. Mass shootings are now so common I feel like it’s a good day when one doesn’t happen. The innocence of not knowing that this kind of thing can happen is gone.
What’s left is a void. A void of nothing. For me – no shock, no sucker punch to the stomach, no forcing myself to inhale, no tears. Just the knowledge that the inevitable happened again. And will continue to happen. Again. And again. And again. And again. And again.
I don’t want to feel nothing. The next stop after nothing is apathy. Some might even say that nothing already is apathy. I can’t accept that I’m already apathetic. I refuse to succumb to apathy.
How do I stop it?
There are no simple fixes to a complex problem. The problem runs deeps. We’re hurting. We’re all hurting. And we continue to make choices that perpetuate that hurt – for ourselves and others. There is no one person, law (although some changes might help), organization, group, etc. that is entirely to blame. We’re all to blame. We’re in this together. The fear, the pain, the lashing out, the innocence lost.
The only way to fix it, is together. But how? How?
I know you aren’t supposed to bring up problems without a solution, but I don’t have one. I believe in a God of love who lives these events with us, who always feels the pain and is never apathetic. I also believe in evil. I couldn’t believe in God if I didn’t believe in evil. If there were no evil that would mean God wills all this to happen. That I cannot accept. The loving God I know does not want this to happen. But evil does. Evil is divisive. Evil works hard to put up barriers so we won’t figure out how to love each other and work together.
So while I am sending thoughts and prayers because I believe they do help. I also know they alone won’t solve this problem. We need to find a way to work together for a loving solution.
But how? How?