Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lessons I Need to Learn

When I look at my post from 1/9/11, I blush in embarrassment; not because what I wrote embarrasses me, but because a scant 3 days later I have to admit I totally forgot my own advice.

Let me start from the beginning: Right Kid No1 is getting married in March, and, like all weddings, as it gets closer, the stress level rises. I come from a family of six children, all of whom are very important to me and my children. So last night when I got a call from Right Kid No2, saying her older sister had just called in tears because my brother; her Godfather; was not coming to the wedding, I became angry. Right Kid No2 made me promise not to call my brother, that she would call later in the week when she wasn't so angry.

I didn't call. Instead I posted on my sister-in-laws Facebook wall. Be assured, it was a post designed to embarrass them and let them know I was not happy. A few minutes later, the post was gone, and I reposted that I wasn't going away, and that I was angry.

My brother called me, very upset, well within his rights to be, and instead of listening and caring about this man who is very dear to me, I got into a huge shouting match and said things designed to hurt him and his family. I am not proud of my actions, I am less proud of my words, and I am truly ashamed I didn't email or call to get the facts; especially since my information was at least 4th hand.

This post is an open apology to my brother, his wife and their children. I am sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Violence and Politics and Life

The shooting yesterday in Arizona was certainly a tragedy, and I join in prayer for the victims and the victims' families. The 22 year-old man who perpetrated the violence is certainly disturbed, angry, and frustrated. I believe this is an aberration rather than the norm. That being said, I also believe violence is more prevalent than it should be.

Last night six people were shot in Baltimore and two died, including a police officer trying to do his job. Fourteen headless bodies showed up in Acapulco just half of the 27 who were killed overnight. Home invasions, car-jackings, domestic abuse, animal abuse, drive-by shootings; these have all become fairly commonplace in our society. Let's not forget school shootings, a phenomenon that didn't exist 30 years ago.

Now, the blame game starts. The Left, predictably, is blaming the Right. The Right is, predictably, defending itself and pointing out the biased coverage of the Mainstream Media. Neither the Right nor the Left is culpable for this act of violence. The person responsible is Jared Loughner. Period. It's not his mother's fault, it's not his father's fault, and it's not Karl Marx's fault.

The "inflammatory rhetoric" and the "use of violent terms" that people are citing should not be scapegoats. We have had "inflammatory rhetoric" in politics since politics began. The "use of violent terms" have been a part of the American vocabulary long before Loughner decided to go on a shooting rampage. Instead of trying to blame language, politics, or ideology; let's find the real reasons. I don't know what they are, but Loughner has certainly left clues on the internet. We may never know exactly what precipitated this act of violence, which is hard to accept because we are a people who want answers for everything. Loughner, himself, may not know exactly why he did what he did.

Today, instead of playing the blame game, let's hold our families a little closer, let's appreciate our lives a little more, let's pray for peace, understanding, and justice. Let's look at our lives and attempt to rid them of as much violence as we can. Peace and justice start at home. This may be an overused phrase, but it's true, nonetheless.

Be safe, be healthy, and be thankful.