Hello to you today. How are you doing? I’m sitting here after a nice phone call with my Uncle and thinking about my birth mom. Today would have been her 80th birthday.
My mom Jeanne died by her own hand when she was just 26 years old. She suffered from depression and used a firearm. In the wake of what happened yesterday in Uvalde Texas, Brooklyn New York, Laguna California, Lowellville Ohio and just down the street from me here in Middleton Idaho…and places I haven’t heard about I am feeling discouraged about our country. After all this time my mom has been gone things aren’t much better in regards to mental and spiritual health in this country – it seems worse. This stuff keeps happening. People with some sort of problem be it physical, emotional, spiritual or economical either turning it on themselves or turning it on the world they live in and using a weapon to do it. After all the times we have been through the trauma of gun violence as a country….a world….still it goes on. Is God too slow to answer or are we too slow to hear and act?
People say if it wasn’t guns these people would use something else. Sadly, that’s a true statement. My therapist and I have talked about it. I tried to take my own life a couple years ago – it was access to pills for me. What I see going on is deeper than the surface issues, problems and causes we like to blame for these eruptions of passion. The “why” of it is where to begin and that is complicated and that takes time. It’s expensive. It’s easier to just keep dispensing cocktails of pills. I think we are still where we are at because no one wants to face the why of it, take responsibility and enact meaningful change. So we keep wiping up blood and handing down trauma with all its labels to yet another generation.
Pointing fingers without self reflection….we are so good at that! What our country is also good at is making troubled people famous. People who felt meaningless in life do something like what happened in Uvalde and just like that they are finally “somebody.”
What I have known from my own experience, people I have known and what I’ve observed these 54 years is that we are emotionally and spiritually sick in America. The mental health system of my mom’s day and a lot of what I’ve experienced being in the system are still inadequate. Some of us are taught to pray and told that will make everything okay again. Often things don’t change and later in life some of us learn there is action in prayer….God isn’t going to do it all for us. For some, especially those feeling powerless, this realization is enough to turn to other more immediate solutions for what ails them. As we are seeing….they pick up a gun and use it to express their unresolved problems and emotions. I know when I was growing up I wasn’t taught by anyone what to do with the insecurity and bad feelings that arose in me when I was bullied at school. I mostly turned those negative feelings and emotions on myself.
What’s different from my mom’s time and mine is now we have social media to broadcast suicides, hate and violent intentions at the click of a button. God, thoughts and prayers only go so far in this modern world of 24/7 media. Instantaneous poison for the spirit and soul.
I know…..echo chamber….preaching to the choir in my words here today. Can’t hurt to keep trying.
Ruler of all the peoples of the earth,
forgive our shortcomings as a nation,
purify our hearts to see and love the truth,
give wisdom to our leaders,
and steadfastness to our people,
and bring us at last
to that fair city of peace
whose foundations are mercy,
justice, and goodwill,
of which you are the designer and builder;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Source: Woodrow Wilson