I Wonder: Is Life Still Precious?

With the things I keep seeing in the news and reading about online, I wonder and ask myself, do we think that life is still precious? Do we value one another as I was taught to do? Many people do but some sadly don’t. That truly makes me want to cry and ask a lot of questions to understand how little our lives seem to matter.

I recently heard a story that an NFL player received a death threat for kneeling during the National Anthem. That shocked and saddened me that someone thought so little of that man’s life. You may disagree strongly and think it is wrong, but to threaten to kill someone over it?!  That seems extreme to me.

Then the shooting in Las Vegas shocked me as I woke up on our son’s birthday. The numbers of dead and wounded were bad enough that morning. But today, I heard that 59 people were killed and 527 people were injured. Heartbreaking and hard to fathom.

I cried since Las Vegas was an important and valuable city in my family’s life. That place means a lot to me and I am devastated. It is a great city with terrific people and many great venues of entertainment. This tragedy occurred when people were out on a lovely evening enjoying a concert and should have been safe.

The weapon used in this shooting seems to be designed for nothing but killing. The shooter took a piece purchased separately and added it to the gun to have the ability to shoot more rounds of ammunition. Why? Seems he was hell-bent on as much destruction as possible.

Sadly he succeeded. I heard there were 200 rounds of bullets in 4 minutes. That is an average of 50 bullets per minute shot into a crowd of tightly packed people listening to artists who they love. What else was there to happen but multiple and senseless deaths and many with life-threatening injuries?

In my opinion, this man didn’t value the life of any of these victims. How could he when he plotted to harm so many? What happened to have him think this way? What happened to him to then take action and carry it out? And what can we do to ensure this never, ever happens again?

I don’t understand why these weapons are legal. I have family members and friends who own rifles, revolvers, shotguns, etc. and are strong supporters of the 2nd Amendment. While I may not see eye to eye with them, I respect the right to bear arms. However, this weapon of mass destruction in my opinion is an entirely different beast and matter.

I want to know why anyone other than the military or police officers has access to them. It makes no sense to me at all. The two pieces of his weapon cannot be bought legally together but can separately. Why is that okay? I don’t get it.

The founders of our country and the writers of the Constitution had very different weapons and guns than we do today. Think about it, they had gunpowder and each round took quite a while to load. They also had cannons and other weapons that were equally as slow. Now we have 50 shots per minute. Chilling and in my opinion should give us all pause.

If we truly value life, let’s do more to protect it than just during growth in the womb.  Let’s help so that each child can then grow up and have a long and productive life. Let’s ensure safety for all people throughout their lives.  Let’s teach our young people to be careful and respectful of their bodies and each other. Let’s ensure we all can afford medical care for both children and adults with brain cancer, leukemia, the common cold and flu, and any other disease or ailment.

Let’s protect and assist the teenager who is being bullied. Let’s help the pregnant teenager by loving her and being there for her, rather than kicking her out of school or church.  Let’s assist those who lose everything in a fire, a hurricane, an earthquake, a mudslide, a flood, a natural disaster or an accident instead of causing them more harm. Let’s protect the elderly in nursing homes from items that can harm them.

Let’s show compassion, kindness, love, respect, consideration, and love.  Let’s encourage safe remedies when we are frustrated, when we feel at the end of the rope. Let’s reach out to our loved ones before and while they are in peril. Let’s help each other so our loved ones don’t feel as if they have no choice but to do something bad and harmful.

Let’s work to keep people away from opioid drugs. They are destructive and harmful and anyone can become addicted. Let’s encourage discussion with others and listen to those we don’t agree with. Let’s stop slamming and harming others and talking about them with so much hate and malice.

Let’s consider each other and take care of each other. Let’s love as Christ taught us to – fully and without condition or anything in return. Let’s remember that each and every life is precious, is valuable, is worthy of love and help when needed, and is worthy of respect.

Let’s be the people who our children can look up to and learn from. Let’s not be the warnings to them of how not to act. Let’s live in the best way for ourselves, our families, our friends, and strangers and those who we meet. After all, each of us has something we are struggling with, so let’s also remember to be kind and to always, always love.

Kindness Does Matter

DSC00725This week, I have woken up in the middle of the night with thoughts and worries.  Much has been on my mind since so much has changed so quickly.  It is making my head spin.  I have also been thinking about the fact that our society is now so rude and no longer tolerant of those who don’t agree with us.

Contrary to what is seen on social media now and on television, kindness and respect matter.  Differences of opinion without being threatened matter.  A free press and chance to speak out matter.  Our constitution and promise that all men are created equal matter.  Helping each other and loving our fellow men and women matter.

When did it happen that these things no longer matter?  I don’t remember but it is on full display now.  And, it is so ugly. This way of thinking has been brewing and building for a long time and sadly has continued.  It is from all sides of the issues.  We can do better than this.  We must do better than this for our children and for each other.

I had the amazing opportunity of growing up in a diverse family.  We all didn’t think alike, believe alike, love alike, talk alike, or act alike.  You know what?  It didn’t matter since we still loved each other.  We were family and that mattered more than our differences.  Not to say there weren’t heated arguments and hurt feelings because there were.

The difference was and still is that we have apologized, tried to repair the relationship, and worked on healing.  We listened to each other in order to learn where each other was coming from.  We took the time to find out another side of an argument.  And most importantly we didn’t try to shame one another into believing as we did.  That skill seems to be gone today.

Instead we are on edge before a conversation even starts.  Instead both those on the left and those on the right are trying to one up each other and scream at each other that the other’s belief is wrong.  Is that how we’d want children to act?  Would we put up with it from them?  If not, why are we with each other?  I just don’t understand.

How will things change and improve for our entire country and all of our citizens if we can’t even have a debate without yelling and screaming at each other and calling one another names?  I wasn’t allowed to do that as a child and my husband and I don’t want our son to do that either.  Yet, many adults do so each day.

Another thing that concerns me and that is hard to explain to our son is all of the blatant and outright lies being told by people in leadership and those speaking for them.  That too has been going on for far too long and needs to stop.  As I told someone yesterday, I don’t like lying from any side and never have.

And, just because someone says something over and over and over again doesn’t make it true.  Facts are facts.  We may not like them but by their definition, that is what they are.  I don’t understand why people seem to not understand that and believe the lies as truths.  That has not made sense to me for a long, long time.

I also think that blind devotion in anything can be dangerous.  I think that we should ask questions, we should investigate, we should learn, we should discern, and we should pray and/or meditate.  We shouldn’t be told how to think or what to think.

I told our son something this week I never thought I would say, “Just because you hear an adult say something doesn’t make it true.  Mom and Dad will talk with you about any and all questions that you have and things you don’t understand.”  As he gets older, he will have to discern for himself.

I just hope and pray that we have taught him enough about morals, ethics, kindness, love, forgiveness, empathy, and tolerance that he can stand on his own two feet.  And, to standup for what he believes in without tearing someone else down.  We still have so much to teach as well as to learn from him.  Isn’t that an amazing blessing?

There is so much more I could write about and probably will in the coming days.  Until then, I will keep praying, studying, watching, listening, and discerning what I see, read, and hear.  My prayer is that you too will do the same.

I will continue to work with my husband in teaching our son the values that we hold dear, whether or not society does the same.  My prayer is that you practice kindness today as I will also try to do. May we always remember to love and be kind instead of to hate.