This use to upset me in the past but as of lately I have come to accept that it has been the tool that has allowed me to not become jaded about where I live or bitter about my surroundings.
It is not easy these days to go anyplace or turn on any thing without seeing Death or a Politician tearing someone or something down. It is a daily occurrence and somehow we are almost becoming ok with it. "Oh only fourteen people died? ok well it could have been worse." "Oh it happened where?, oh those people always killing themselves." "Oh I am safe here, I don't live in that neighborhood." "Yeah I'm so glad he said that those people really are pieces of trash get rid of them." 'Oh I wish they would stop coming here, they taking over everything and lowering my property value." "Oh what?! these people are able to do that now?"
illustration by tumblr.com
Today I searched how many shootings have occurred thus far in 2015 and depending on your choice of words it can be anywhere between 4 or 355. This is due in part to who and where your sources come from whether it was a large group or a small group, race, affiliation and so forth. But why does that even matter? A death, an injury, an assault one or fifty is one too many. And why please someone just clear this up for me is the answer always....more guns, arm yourself, freedom to purchase more protection?
I am not stupid to say Guns kill people but I will say that guns in the hands of most people kill people. Of course we all should have the right to protect ourselves but is arming ourselves with guns really the solution? Does anyone really need to purchase more than one gun to "protect" themselves? Does a business owner in Long Island City need an assault rifle to protect his store? Does the guy in Kansas need an Uzi? Those who are pro guns get upset about the laws that infringe on their rights and those of us who may not care to use the "let me arm myself route" think their aren't enough restrictions? Who is correct, who is wrong, are there really any winners? I first saw a real gun when I was about eleven years old. It was when my sister's father came home from the military. I was terrified and shocked. This stuff was now going to be in my home, in a closet, in Brooklyn in 1980 something seriously? I didn't feel any safer.
And as for the outlandish comments some of our Presidential prospects drop out of their moves, I am back to that terrified kid in the dinning room with the guns laid out on the table. You want to run a country in which a portion of its residents you have no regard for? You want to run a country yet some of your history is built on lies you have volunteered as a means to connect with "the people"?
You want to run a country in which some of your citizens basic rights can not be upheld because a law from the time of I don't agree with that so I am gonna write a law against it should still hold true today? Your standards are the "only" standards is what your basically telling me?
Whatever your choices my perspective is everyone has a right but having rights doesn't give us a free pass to be unjust. I love my freedom but I am also CLEAR that when the Constitution of The United States was written it didn't have this Dominican female from Brooklyn in mind. It didn't have many people I see on a daily basis in mind as a matter of fact.
illustration by buzzle.com
Crazy part is our media continues to feed us fear of "others" yet here we are killing our own day to day. We want to solve everyone else's issues, correct their laws and their way of life and in our own land we have chaos.
We live in a society where there are cameras EVERYWHERE, we are being monitored in one way or another at all times and yet we find fault in others? Our schools are becoming prison like with metal detectors and gates, my own four person office just installed cameras so I can look at a screen before I buzz anyone in. I feel like a prison guard. Paranoia is another tool I have to now arm myself with.
I happened to watch last night and yes I am very late on this movie but things fall on my lap when they are suppose to. I saw The Good Shepard with Matt Damon. Story on birth of CIA I am not going to break it all down but I will say that the greatness of Life is to be open to information and process with the best balance you can have. Pride should never be ignorant and justified just because we want to turn a blind eye. I am very proud of who I am, where I come from and the freedoms I have been able to enjoy but I also must balance that with growth, learning and awareness.
One of the characters in this movie was played by Joe Pesci and he had a very powerful scene with Matt Damon it involved a sort of you do for me I do for you but also touched on principles his lines go something like this
*"Let me ask you something... we Italians, we got our families and we got the church; the Irish, they have the homeland, Jews their tradition; even the Niggers, they got their music. What about you people, Mr. Wilson, what do you have? Matt Damon character replies..."The United States of America. The rest of you are just Visiting."
*IMDB The Good Shepherd quotes*
illustration by genius.com
Now fiction or non fiction embellished or what not those words speak volumes. It bought to light again for me how I live in a country where everyone who lives here at some point was treated as a cast a way and though some may want to paint a picture of unity and equality in the end those that feel they have set the standards we must follow will always want to make you very aware of just where you truly stand.
So whether its mass shootings all in the name of one cause or another or political agendas to continue to divide can we really continue to boost about "Our United States" or has the time come to rip the blinders off and say "Where the Hell am I living at?"
So now as a parent I don't only have to worry about cuts and scraps in the playground now I have to add someone being bored with life and taking it out on my neighborhood school or my kids train route? Now its not what school will my child attend but whether or not he/she has the right to do as they wish with their body? Its no longer about being concerned for our children's safety traveling to another country its about worrying about Spring Break in another State.
My Eyes are Wide open, I am finally looking at all the pieces even the ones I didn't want to acknowledge but I am declaring that I will not be pushed to paranoia and I will not be pushed to blind patriotism. My awareness is clear and I will use the information I gather daily to become better informed and a better parent to my daughter. One person lights a spark that can burn long enough to require attention. My perspective can do just that as well as our access to Social Media. Living our best lives means cohabiting with others and we have really been doing a terrible job of it so far.
Again knowledge is power become better informed.
What do you think? Should we just accept the changes we deal with today as the new normal? Do all lives matter or just the chosen few? Is not agreeing with the old ways a lack of loyalty? As parents what should our priorities be? Please share your thoughts.
Always stress free xo