Once Upon A Time…
Remembering historical events and
considering their significance for families today
Three weeks ago I was in Las Vegas for a work meeting. I stayed at the Aria, a sister property of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, one of 25 properties in the MGM family of resorts. My room on the 27th floor overlooked Las Vegas Boulevard. Each morning, my curtains opened at 6 AM to the bright and pulsing marquees of neighboring hotels and casinos. Jennifer Lopez at Planet Hollywood. The Canehlo-Golovkin fight at the MGM.
While working there, many of my colleagues not from the region were taken in by the city’s playground appeal. On the walks back to the hotel, I would provide a downer rebuttal to their wonderment.
“This place shouldn’t even be here,” I said. “It’s a desert! It’s all piped in!”
I’m ambivalent about the place, I’ll admit. I don’t really like going there. I see it as mostly smoke and mirrors.
This past week, however, Las Vegas is all we can talk about. It’s in our minds and hearts. We’re trying to make sense of what happened there.
I’m sad for the victims and their families, but mostly I’m angry. I’m angry at the person who did this. I’m angry at the guns he owned. I’m angry that we live under a constant threat. I’m disturbed that now, when I drop my kids off at preschool, the place where I have entrusted educators to shepherd my babies, a terrible, dark, sinister thought crosses my mind. What if here? What if today?
I want to leave these thoughts behind. I want to move ahead and be positive. But how, when we’re becoming desensitized to it all? How, when there is now talk about having tourniquet kits on venue walls, just like heart defibrillators, so that when this happens again, we can stop the bleeding of our wounded fellow Americans?
While I truly believe that we’ve moved fully into a culture of fear and violence in which the need to cling to arms is so entrenched we may never be able to find stasis again, I do believe we can do better. We should do better. We must do better.
What future do we want to give our children? What legacy do we wish to leave behind?