Ok, so I know it’s been a while since I last posted and that is entirely because of three main things:
- As you may or may not know, I started a new job, and learning things is cool and stuff, but it’s also time-consuming.
- I’m currently writing at book-length (!!), which is pretty much my natural state, but – to echo the theme of Point One – also very time-consuming.
- I generally tend to not say things when I don’t have anything to say.
Let’s double-click on Point Three.
I’ve never felt especially obligated to form an opinion on things just to have an opinion on things. I’ve never felt like I needed to take one side of an argument just because everyone on the planet (Twitter) seems to have lined up on opposite sides of a metaphorical battlefield. There are some culturally huge things (like the majority of Blockbuster hits) that I literally could not care less about, and then there are some legitimately irrelevant things (like the fact that ketchup on hotdogs is disgusting) that I would gladly debate for hours because truth is freedom.
That being said, I’m willing to accept that the things that I do and I don’t form opinions on can probably be scientifically deemed as pretty random. But I also think there’s a method to it. I know there is. I don’t like to talk about things, or get into debates about things that I don’t understand. I hate feeling like I’m talking bullshit. I hate feeling like I’m making up answers. So when I don’t feel like I have the answer – when I don’t “get it” enough – I tend to leave the conversation up to people who (think) they do.
So I haven’t said much about this gun thing.
I feel kind of uncomfortable that I’ve even just typed “this gun thing.”
I talk about it with some of my best friends, because that’s a safe space for me to not know all the answers. I’ll think about it and I’ll pray about it, because that’s probably the safest place for me to not know all the answers. But I don’t Tweet about it. I don’t write about it. Because I know how I feel, but I don’t know how to fix it.
So, in comes Maya Angelou, continuing to maintain relevance in all aspects of life. There’s a quote that’s often attributed to her, that says: A bird doesn’t sing because it has the answer, a bird sings because it has a song.
So here’s my quick little song for you.
I hate the fact that we kill one another. I hate the fact that we’ve gotten to a place where you can be at school, or at work, or a concert, or a bar, or a club, or a restaurant, or a Walmart, or walking down the street, or in a movie theater, or in your home and you can be shot, and you can be killed, and that can be it.
I hate thinking about the ones in the school, or at the office, or in the bar, or at the club, or in the restaurant, or the Walmart, or the ones walking down the street, or in a movie theater, or in their homes when a person shows up with a gun. I hate thinking about what those moments are like for them. I hate thinking that, in their final moments, they were terrified; I hate thinking that terror is the last feeling they ever felt. So I hope, every time, that it wasn’t. Every time something like this happens, I hope for a miracle that they were, somehow, at peace.
I hate thinking about the families and the friends they leave behind. I hate thinking about how parents have to feel every morning sending their kids to school in an America like this. I hate thinking about how it has to feel to get that text from your friend or your sister that they’re hiding under a table in their office, and that they love you, in case they never get another chance to say so. I hate thinking about people in the moments when they realize that that shooting they just heard about on TV isn’t just on TV for them. That it’s real. That it’s theirs, this time. That they’ve lost one of their own.
I hate thinking about the aftermath for anybody who survived. People who were there. People who weren’t there but lost somebody who was. They’re all survivors. You’re all survivors. I hate thinking about your aftermath.
And I hate that no matter how many times that it happens, it happens again.
I’m not super political. I can’t keep up with everything that’s happening in Washington. School House Rock taught me how a bill becomes a law and I know how our checks and balances system works. I don’t claim to be an expert on policy. And I know there are a lot of people right now standing on either side of a very clear line, hating each other’s guts.
I wish we’d stop hating each other, and hate this more.
I wish we could channel all that hate towards hating the fact that tomorrow, or the next day, or in a couple more days after that, more people who are just eating dinner, or trying to pray, or sitting in class could be shot and killed and never go home just because they were there.
How can we not hate that more?
I don’t think it matters if you’re for the Second Amendment or against it. I don’t think it’s an argument about the Constitution or policies. It’s bigger than that, I think. And, in a weird way, maybe also simpler than that. Human beings’ ability to hate someone or something has legitimately altered the course of history hundreds of times. In a lot of really crappy ways, and in some really awesome ways.
So I’m not a policy maker, and I haven’t studied the law. But I know that if we hated what was happening right now enough, we could change it.
So I hope you hate it. I hope you hate every freaking thing about it. I hope you hate it so much that it keeps you up at night. I hope you hate it so much you could cry.
I hope, sometimes, you do.
And then, with all that hate, I hope you feel inspired to say something, even if it’s just utter rambling, like this post.
Like this song*, which I said would be quick but of course it was not.
And, also – if anyone knows of any organizations I can look into to support, can you let me know in the comments? I Googled, but only found options to donate money, and I’d like to do more than that.
Thanks for reading, and I hope with my whole heart that you all are safe.