Up Before the Sun

What bothers me is it’s as normal to see headlines of crime and dead children as it is to have cereal in the morning.

Haikustrip #23: What bothered me most, I think, was the age of the victims. The second and more persistent thing that bothers me now is how routine, how normal it has become, as normal as coffee, oatmeal and the morning paper. People dead, children, moviegoers, people at worship. It’s beyond “if it bleeds, it leads” and into “if it bleeds, bleed it dry”. Yet the upside of the sensationalism and media fixation is that violence and murder have finally crossed the bounds of what I can cope with in my consciousness.

The motives and the reasons matter, of course, as well as the tactical details. But these things hurt so much and divide us and diffuse us from solutions: some of my friends say “If only everybody was armed” and others say “If no one was armed” and I just say “God, this is so sad. We’ve got to be able to do better than this.”

The conversation needs to be meta. So much goes into all this, the terrible things people do. Beyond the quick reactions and the belief that having, or not having, a gun… of controlling or not controlling guns… we need to change. People need to change. Control is an illusion. The human heart must change.

There’s nothing more precious than life, at least to the living. There’s no higher aspiration than love. Yet the darkness comes, over and over, and we seem to bring it.

I can try, but I can’t protect with any certainty myself, my family, my property, or you. I need you to try to protect me, my family, my property, and yourself. We need to be a society that cares about and protects everybody. Let’s be that, let’s talk about that.

Would you like some oatmeal?

Photo credit: ToddMauldin.com, used with permission

About Todd Mauldin

Todd Mauldin (@mrtavo) is a musician, writer and artist living in Reno, NV. He blogs at www.toddmauldin.com.

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