Friday, June 17

I haven't said anything....

I haven’t said anything about the tragedy that took place in Orlando last week because I don’t understand.

I don’t understand a world that can produce someone who is filled with so much hate that he thinks the only release is to take an assault rifle into a crowded room and open fire the clear intent of raining down maximum damage—maximum terror—to a room full of strangers who surely have never even crossed paths with the shooter.

I don’t understand the horror that boy’s parents must be feeling. They seem like decent people.

I don’t understand a world where religious officials and everyday people would condone the horror this man brought down, or the atrocities he committed all in the name of hate.

In the name of fear.

I don’t understand a world where people are so afraid of what is different, what is other, that they feel the only action left is to end the lives of people they’ve never met—to shatter the lives of other families.

I don’t understand a world without empathy, but apparently, that is the world in which I live.

I live in a country where one of the leading presidential candidates gets up on a podium and spouts hatred and separatism and anger and fear. He incites violence and is REWARDED for it. He advocates anger and fuels people’s fears and people flock to hear more.

I live in a world where religious leaders, so many of them hypocrites, stand before their congregations and preach separatism even though the Book in front of them tells a very different story—and yet no one in the congregation speaks out against them.

I live in a world that at times seems devoid of empathy.

So I haven’t said much about Orlando, because I don’t understand. I don’t understand the hatred. I don’t understand the fear. I don’t understand the violence.

I am sad.

I am tired.

I mourn.

I mourn for the dead.

I mourn for the wounded.

I mourn for those neither wounded nor killed because they will no doubt have nightmares for the rest of their lives.

I mourn for the families of the victims.

I mourn for the community, because we have to find a way to cope, I surely don't know how.

I mourn for those who had to clean up the dead, those who had to silence the cell phones. Those who had to remove the bodies.

I mourn for the man who did this terrible thing because what must his life—his head and heart—have been filled with?

But mostly I mourn for us humans, because we created this world. We made this. It’s ours. Now we have to live in it.

I only hope we change it, I hope we learn empathy, I hope we learn to listen—to hear each other. I hope we stop preaching violence and begin embracing love. I hope we stop screaming separatism and start whispering beauty.

I hope that someday no one ever has to wake up to the call all those mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, friends and loved ones had to wake up to last week.

I hope that someday the world is different and our children or our children’s children can look back and not understand either.

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