Monday, January 14, 2013
No one in our country could be left unmoved by the tragic events that took place in Connecticut last week. At the time of this writing, 20 children and seven adults were confirmed dead.
It is shocking that we are desensitized to the point that we would kill even little children learning their ABCs. To show you how far we have fallen one of the things we condemn about violence in other countries is the heartlessness of people who are not afraid to kill innocent women and children. But that is exactly what is happening on our doorsteps.
This latest event is a sad commentary on us as a nation. The question we should begin to ask is why? I believe we need to do some serious soul searching and forget the finger pointing. What we need are solutions, but in the process we must look everywhere.
One of my major concerns has been the presence of more violent rhetoric in the media than ever before. We disrespect anyone we don’t like from the president to the poorest person. We are far less civil than before and we don’t seem to care. We believe that as adults especially we can degrade courtesy in conversation, decency in manners and civility in behavior and get away with it. It rubs off on our children and the young.
Again it is not about blaming anyone or any group it is about calling a truce if not abolishing the acid we throw at each other openly in public debates and discussions.
We feed on attacking one another. Why can’t we learn the art of dialogue instead of the art of destruction? Why can’t we be civil instead of confrontational? We have lost the art of talking while we have become better at fighting.
Violence in words can become violence in actions. And violence can go anywhere, visit anyone even those who think they are safe, their children are safe, or their family is safe. We are all affected; it can turn up on our doorsteps at anytime so we all should be concerned.
Violence in any sector of our society can affect almost any other area of our society. When one sneezes any of us could catch a cold. What happens in public life and in the media especially concerns me. We have learned how to attack rather than arbitrate or negotiate.
The fact is there must come a time when a society becomes tired of the violence in the culture, the “downing” of civility, and the constant spewing of vitriolic words in our public debates. We no longer discuss, we demean. We don’t debate anymore we try to demolish or destroy others.
For the good of our country, the good of our families, and the good of our children lets tone down the violent rhetoric in our public debates and discussions especially in the media and among our elected officials. The words of the elder President George Bush could never be more appropriate, “Let’s be a kinder, gentler nation.”
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