I have so many feelings about the unfortunate tragedy of Friday.
It’s taken days of reflection and thought about how and why these failures manifest. Failure on behalf of the beautiful victims and failure on behalf on a clearly, very sick individual.
So much has been said through the media and social networks. I don’t know if that has necessarily been a positive aspect of disseminating information. The prayers and thoughts are always nice to read. It’s the aggressive and sometimes ill-conceived blurts that bother me. We do have freedom of speech as protected by the first amendment. However, the 24 hour news cycle that exists doesn’t allow for articulate thoughts and statements. Since there is so much time to fill, we are subjected to excessive thoughts that haven’t been carefully crafted or thought through. I remember having to clearly and succinctly prepare my reports, theses, and speeches in school so I could get an A. If I half-assed it, my grade would suffer. If I was still a teacher, most of the comments I have heard and read would receive a D.
We also have a way of putting everything on a pedestal. We love a rating. “This is a 5 star Michelin restaurant!”, “This is the top grossing movie…ever.” “This is the second worse school tragedy since Columbine.” And? Some things don’t need a rating. In the same breath, I don’t believe you can equally reward excellence and mediocrity. Maybe, just maybe, we don’t have to televise everything. Some don’t deserve notoriety or fame. Repeating a negative gives it power and sometimes not in a good or productive way.
My last thought on this is that we need to stop stigmatizing mental health and impliment it early in life. Some people (the young, the tween, the teen, the adult, the middle-ager, the elderly) get depressed. They don’t feel like they can talk to anybody. Remember that feeling? If we address it while these children are young, we may solve some of these issues. Some kids have a mean streak and are either outwardly angry (bullies) or inwardly angry (loners).
And as I step off my soapbox, I absolutely believe the second amendment should be amended. If only we carried muskets now but we don’t. Because it is 2012, people.
Check out these sites if you are interested in being a part of the solution or are still coping:
Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation
Dr. Karen M. Wyatt on Huffington Post
The Robin Hood Foundation