Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Tucson Shootings - An Opprotunity To Unite

I do not like to get political, and today is no exception.  I do, however, want to talk about the shootings in Tucson.

I went to school in Tuscon, and I lived not far from the site of the shootings.  I did not know any of the people involved, but I feel a connection to the tragedy none the less.

I know people are talking about what made this happen. Theories are flying around faster than Auntie Em's house in the Wizard of Oz.  Some are convinced it it the political climate in our country.  Some feel it is the divisive feelings we have between political parties and the ads they show.  Some feel it is the failure of society to give the shooter appropriate mental health treatment.  Others feel it is a sign of judgment from the Almighty.

A very wise person once told me my biggest problem was trying to make sense out of things that just do not make sense.  I think this may qualify.

One thing I did notice was that while we may not agree on why it happened, we are unified as a country when it comes to how we feel about it happening.  We are saddened.  We are wounded.  We are outraged.  We are aware that we have been angry at each other for a long time.

I noticed after September 11 that we came together as a nation to get through the tragedy.  We stood together against an unseen enemy, knowing our strength as a whole was our greatest asset.  I think the same is true now.

When I saw the members of Congress standing on the steps for a moment of silence, without a line between the left and right, without distinction between liberal and democrat, I was hopeful that this intense tragedy could bring a little healing to our country. For one moment we saw a government standing as a whole, not a splintered group of individuals.

I am proud to live in a country where different ideas are expressed and valued.  I am grateful I live in a place where we are encouraged to talk about our desires for our country and our government. I also feel blessed to live in an environment where I am allowed to disagree and share my beliefs with others.

That being said, I think it is time to remember we have more in common than we have different.  I heard a politician once say that the legislature agreed on 99% of all details, but that it was the 1% that took up all the government's time.

I think it is time we focus on what makes us the same. It is time for us to remember our humanity and our ability for compassion.  While I do not think it is the nation's fault that a gunman walked into a crowd and murdered innocent people, I do believe we have an opprotunity to remember ourselves and change the atmosphere of our nation. We have common goals and common beliefs.

We have a country to run and responsibilities to meet. It is time we do that with a feeling of peace and unity.  We do not have to agree on everything, and in fact it would not be overly useful if we did.  We do, however, need to learn the lessons being taught by this tragedy.  We need to hold on to this feeling of personal involvement and we need to keep our common goals in mind.

As Dorothy said in Oz, "There's no place like home..." and I would add to that, there is no place like our home. We have been given a country with profound opprotunity.  Let us unify our spirits and create the home we all want to live in.

My deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of the victims of the shooting. May their sacrifice be remembered and may the lessons we learned stay with us forever.

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