Newsline , Society

Tragic Lessons – Treasure Life

Posted on Monday, May 30, 2022
by AMAC, Robert B. Charles

A crisis stops us. Sudden loss, sadness, inability to process facts, sense of helplessness, loss of control can be overwhelming. Yet in these moments, we learn. Truths surface helping us manage the moment and recover from it. The Texas shooting tragedy should teach us – treasure life.

Here we are, again watching a young, mentally deranged person, indifferent to life, lost in society’s growing incoherence and alienation – suddenly taking innocent lives, children, loving teachers.  The event is inconsistent with civil society, jarring. Hearing about it – we must process it.

How do we make sense of such horror? How do we square it with faith, hope, God’s mercy? How do we put what is inconceivable into some context?  What is the context? While we console the inconsolable, provide love for the devastated, and pray for those taken, how do we stop this evil?

Step one is understanding what we regularly minimize – evil exists. Good confronts evil daily, battle never ends. Evil filled the shooter’s vacant heart. We see evil too in slaughter across Ukraine, tortures in Afghanistan and China, international terrorism, silencing of conscience.

Many want to cast evil in our world as the outlier, push it onto an inanimate object – guns – or see it as something other than what it is. Truth is: Mass shootings reflect a society morally fraying.

Did you dare say morally? Yes. What are you implying? Who are you blaming? From what are you deflecting? I am blaming evil itself, raising the idea that society is not just losing unity, cohesion, and coherence, but losing moral compass – appreciation for what makes us whole.

Without moral compass, we wither – individually and as a society.  Call it what you like – deprioritizing The Good, trading self-reliance for dependence, swapping self-examination for judgment, replacing concern with condemnation, devaluing moral fiber for moral relativism. Call it whatever you like, maybe political polarization, systemic disunity, or spiritual warfare.

That last, by the way, may be best. Einstein considered the invisible world far more powerful than the visible, reminded humanity that “only those who see the invisible can do the impossible.” If you choose not to see the fraying, you are already one step behind, handicapped finding solutions.

Second step? Once we see evil – we must confront it.  Ironically, that is easier on a physical battlefield than spiritual one. Open battlefield foes wear “bad guy” uniforms – not so in society.

So, how do we confront what seems to be tearing us apart? How do we join battle against these destructive forces within that alienate us from each other, misguide youth, drive escapism, indifference, overdoses, suicides, psychological drift, group hate, lost dreams, and mass violence?

The answer is – we must own what we resist owning, admit what we do not want to admit. We must stop thinking of life as a list of “talking points” or “issues,” and stop trying to fix fellow citizen with yet another government program.  We must stop reviling and blaming, start teaching.

Truth is, mounting societal stress is our own creation. We must stop the indulgence of anger, even if politically justified, pivot to teaching young Americans. Teaching what? How to live, that America is the best place on earth, and no accident. America comes from incalculable sacrifice.

What does this generation need? Probably what we all needed – perspective and hope, a sense of the possible, hint at achieving the impossible, trust from adults, freedom to fail and to recover.

They need help setting high expectations, knowing someone does expect something of them – something big and positive, requiring some effort and some heart, producing “the good life.”

They need less anger, less political swordplay. They need direction with some truth. What is that?  Evil will come to ruin your life if you let it.  Life is bumpy but works out if you try, are resilient.

Yes, of course, America has lots of guns. We have a constitutionally protected right to self-defense – including against government. Ninety-nine percent of Americans use guns wisely, own them legally, should never be forced to give them up. That talk is just more political deflection.

If someone wants to kill innocents, they can use any means.  The central fact is that they are deranged. Indifference to human life is about our society. They have learned to de-value life.

That is the core it, right there. Our society is off track, allowing mental instability to replace moral compass. We are accelerating away from what made us strong, abandoning confidence in our past and each other, pushing nihilism, wokeness, language redefinition, social media, political hatred.

That is wrong.  If nothing excuses evil, and nothing does, this is not about guns. It is far bigger. It is about society’s eroding mental, emotional, and spiritual health. We must work to stop this fraying of society, lean into moral education, teach about caring, and engage in spiritual warfare.

Great leaders know simple truths. A society “rights itself” when those within it hold tight to moral compass – and then teach it. Avoiding senseless tragedies starts with teaching the value of human life. From there, everything improves. This would be a good time to start … treasuring life.

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Dana Meredith
Dana Meredith
1 year ago

Amen to restoring our moral compass and teaching the value of human life! Schools should all be private, not government indoctrination centers. We do program our kids and for years they have been taught wrong. It is time homeschooling becomes the norm and groups form that allow for joint sports and social programs. It is time parents and grandparents become more involved with their children.

1 year ago

To those who blame guns for all these deaths, consider the fact that someone—a person—had to pull the trigger.The person pulling the trigger is at fault; the gun can’t pull its own trigger. If the right to own guns is repealed, people bent on revenge will use some other method to fulfill their intentions to wreak havoc. McVeigh used fertilizer, others use cars or planes, deranged people spike aspirin bottles and Halloween candy, and then there’s that jerk who slashed pedestrians’ behinds with a knife. Machetes, bricks, box cutters, and baseball bats…whatever is at hand. Whether it’s planned or acted upon in the heat of the moment, the goal is to do harm. Another goal is infamy, to be known for something…anything.

While some are mentally unfit to walk the streets freely, others live next door and say hi to the mailman. Many are bright and don’t “look like criminals”; Ted Bundy, for one. This young man who took 21 lives plus the husband of one of the teachers (he died of a “broken heart”) reportedly was upset that the school would not award him a high school diploma. I’m not religious, so I can’t call these perpetrators evil in that sense.

The common thread is hatred for someone or something and the inability for sane people to deal with emotions sensibly. Are we not spending enough time with our kids? Did they learn inappropriate behaviors from us or their friends? Are video games or violent movies to blame? Are we too soft on crime (broken windows)? In many cases of extreme violence, we’ll never find the answer to what made this person snap. Violent acts have happened all through time, and they will never stop happening. What we’re left with is to try to identify bad intentions before they happen. Family members, neighbors, doctors, and teachers can step up and warn of impending disaster, although this defies privacy issues. If these criminals posts their plans on social media—and they often do—they should be questioned, without a doubt.

Legislators might deal with it by changing the law, which pits one party against the other. Some conservatives also might question the need for privately held guns every time something like this happens. The 2nd Amendment is part of the Constitution for a reason, so, although it’s easy to say “Take the guns away”, our freedoms could suffer a heavier blow if it is repealed. My condolences, always, to those who have been harmed.

1 year ago

Why is it a surprise when a stranger kills someone he doesn’t know when we live in a society where a mother is willing to have her own child’s body torn to shreds- and then when the abortionist walks out a nurse puts the body parts together like a puzzle to make sure everything is there, while the abortionist goes to the next room and the cycle goes on all day long all over America tossing little tiny heads in a garbage bag. I don’t believe the Democrats for a minute when they say they care about these children who become victims of mass murderers. They would have been okay if those VERY SAME CHILDREN had been murdered a few years prior to fill the abortion industry’s money coffers. No, the baby is not the mother’s body. They don’t even share blood. I’m Rh- and all my children are Rh+. If we shared blood it would be deadly. Unless she was pregnant as a result of rape ( why kill the baby and not the rapist and then leave him free to rape again ) she made a choice to have unprotected sex. That was her pro choice decision. We live in a society of people wanting rights and no responsibility. They want the right to end the life of another so they can enjoy just 10 minutes of pleasure.

Ed Black
Ed Black
1 year ago

Great commentary and right on target.
We all need to consider some facts and not political agendas.
First and foremost is the fact we have numerous other destructive changes taking place in our society: especially with and starting with our youth! There are measurable and significant increases in suicide, drug addiction & overdose, depression, homelessness, other violent crimes…
This says to me we have many serious issues and we need to ask ourselves what is the root cause?
These are not caused by law abiding citizens owning a firearm.

Myrna Wade
Myrna Wade
1 year ago

The first time a person knows what love feels like is the moment to begin to realize what God feels about every life. Every time that ability to love is strengthened we need to acknowledge that God is the author of love and loves us more than we love but the feeling is like our love. The longer we live the better we can understand but never equal the love of God. We have a glimpse of why killing life is wrong and should use what we do know to save lives.

1 year ago

And so it continues…Cain killed Abel because he was hurt that his offering was not from his heart and blamed Abel.
Hurting people do bad things to others because they look to salve their hurt by hurting others.
We need more mental health facilities and support for hurting people and also to be able to identify those who are so wounded that they lash out at others with a vengance.

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