With everything that is going on in our society today, I can’t help but wonder where the helpers are. I was in shock as I commuted to my office yesterday to hear about what happened in Las Vegas. As I am sure it the same with many of you, I have a few very close friends in the area and tears immediately filled my eyes as I panicked and began calling each one by one to make sure they were okay. Some are teachers and had the difficult task of helping their students cope throughout the day, and not even knowing if their students were alive until they saw whether or not they showed up for class. It’s horrific, sad and incomprehensible.
So what gets me is how someone can get on Twitter right after hearing about it and start politicizing the pain that these families in shock are enduring. I mean, can’t we wait at least a day before we start pointing fingers and giving our opinions on gun control? Tragedies should not be immediate soapboxes for your agenda. I mean, at least take a few minutes to grieve those that lost their lives and have an ounce of sensitivity to what they might be feeling and going through.
You want to turn this country around? Start showing compassion and learning how you can give blood, donate money to help with the victim’s’ medical expenses, send cards of compassion and hope to survivors. Then take to the Twitter a few days later and do any advocacy work you believe will stop this magnitude of a tragedy from happening again.
I got sick to my stomach when I heard about the CBS employee who said “I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters.” Like, seriously?? That right there is what is wrong with our country right now. We are so divided that we cannot even tap into the raw, human emotions that make us, well, human. Iain S. Thomas explains it best with this quote: “You are so patriotic to your heart. It keeps the country together. But it tears the world apart.” Sometimes we get so passionate about what laws, or lack of laws, we stand behind that we forget at the end of the day our ultimate goal should be to support and love our fellow humans and help them where they need help right now.
Also, what is up with attacking people’s religion while trying to stand up for your own beliefs? If people want to send thoughts and prayers, let them send them! What harm is that doing to you? Don’t you realize that by attacking someone’s personal beliefs, you are joining the group of haters that you are trying to fight against in this world?
A good friend posted a quote by Mr. Rogers on my Facebook last night that referenced looking for helpers in this world when tragedy strikes, because there are good people and there are positive things happening to make sure everyone is taken care of and ‘helped’. It reminded me of a sermon I heard a couple of years ago about our role as Christians in the world to be the ‘stretchers’ to people in pain. I would be so bold as to say Christian or not, we all have a duty to be stretchers to hurting people.
Being a stretcher after what happened in Las Vegas, and in other towns during this year, is not getting into fights about gun control or no control. It’s not sending out a random tweet about NRA’s stance on silencers, when a silencer wasn’t even used in this case. It’s putting all politics and differences aside and coming together to show this country how amazing we can be at helping others, even though we might disagree on our religious and political views.
You want to create a hate-free world and prevent crimes like these from happening? Start by looking at yourself and how you are being a stretcher to those in need right when the tragedy occurs. Yes, changing laws is important. Yes, taking action is important. However, none of that matters if we don’t look inward first and see what we can do on a community level first. Change starts within, and then within your community and then within the government. Don’t lose sight of the people actually affected on a real level by these tragedies, in order to create a platform for your own agenda. Don’t leave this country asking the question >> “Where are the helpers?”
– Marji J. Sherman