This year. 2012. It has become a heart-wrenching year.
I used to believe there was some kind of “every other year rule” when it came to things. Rain on Memorial Day weekend. Hardships that people deal with all the time, but this time happen to you. Hot summers.
However, I could easily start to believe that the world is simply cruel. Period. Not every other year. Not in places of war and strife. Everywhere. Anywhere.
2012 and Gun Violence
The shooting locally, and even more so now, the shooting in Newtown, CT have changed me and this nation. I know that I have probably never cried so much out of the pure horror of it all, and everything I’ve read or watched since. The time for reason is upon us if only we have the courage to use it.
This year saw tens of thousands of people killed by gun violence – this more than all other forms of violence combined – while mass shootings are on the rise. I did learn some new facts about guns I hadn’t known before: (1) People who own guns for personal protection are the least likely to practice safe gun ownership, (2) Statistics show gun owners were more likely to be shot fatally (intentionally or unintentionally) than non-gun owners, (3) Guns procured legally are the main cause of mass shootings. This year we saw horrific violence across the country due to guns. I don’t believe anything good comes out of any one person owning an assault weapon designed to shoot multiple rounds per minute at mind-blowing speed.
See The World
This year I seized the day and swept the children on a road trip spanning seven states over 3 and a half weeks, much of which we spent camping. Besides the obvious quarrels and annoyances we saw some amazing pieces of the country, including Yellowstone National Park.
But learning after having been so lucky to have seen one of Yellowstone’s famous wolves and briefly meet one of the top wolf biologists that hunters have killed not only the most famous wolf in Yellowstone, but also ALL of the collared wolves from the wolf project. Because they could. That hits hard.
Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change
This year we saw Hurricane Sandy devastate. There is no reason to think this will not become a more common occurrence due to climate change. I am told that extreme weather makes a bigger impact than anything else on changing people’s minds and behavior about the critical mass we have reached in affecting the world’s climate. Will we still remember after everything has been cleaned up (or hidden away)?
How do we teach our children compassion when it could be so much easier to not care? My friends and fellow bloggers who worry about such issues are alternately spitting mad, beaten down, and wondering what it will take to wake up the rest of Western society? This year I saw a rise in wear and tear on those who care, and care deeply. We need a lightening of the load.
Not nearly enough. The world is still wrong, John, and I don’t know how to fix it.
But, you know what? I am still here to do my part. My children are safe at home as I write this and I am here to love them. There is so much that can, and will, go horribly wrong that all we can do is act the way we’d like others to act, believe in the good when it is easy to give in, hold all life in our hearts, and to love, just love.
I started this year with a fight in my belly. That fight is still there, I still have hope for humanity to save itself, but some of that fight is tired. From now until the end of the year I am going to seek out that hope and I challenge you all to do the same. And share, share with me, share here, share on twitter, share on Facebook. Find and create the hope that lies buried under the tears and spread it far and wide.