I had planned a blog on stripes. I like stripes and how they can add movement to blocks and are really handy-dandy to use when planning borders.
And then Vegas happened.
My generation has been somewhat defined by heart-stopping, soul-sucking, emotionally wrenching events. I am a child of the 1960’s and can clearly remember (even as a toddler) seeing the newscasts of the Kennedy assassination. I remember the turmoil of the Summer of Love and the murders of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King., Jr. I remember my parents waking me up in the wee hours of the morning when I was in first grade or so and to watch a grainy black and white TV report of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.
I can remember where I was when Ronald Regan was shot by John Hinkley, Jr (the Student Center at Elon University). I was in my second trimester of my first pregnancy when the Challenger tragedy occurred.
And I was making copies of a vocabulary test in the teachers’ office when Columbine happened. I was teaching science when 9/11 began.
My generation has seen some serious stuff. And the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States definitely made working with stripes seem a whole lot less important in the scope of everything else that was very important.
In times like this I struggle to try to understand why things like this happen. And I struggle equally hard to try to explain it to others. So I’m going to reflect here with what I told my students after Columbine and the Terror Attacks on the Twin Towers.
- There is evil in this world. We could theorize for days on why people are evil and want to hurt others, but that does no one any good and only exhausts you. The fact is that ever since sin entered this world, there has been evil.
- It’s up to each of us to counter-act this evil by kindness. Kindness has crossed more borders than any armies and has settled more arguments than any court in any land. Be kind.
- If you see an opportunity to do good and make a difference – no matter how small – do it. It has been put in front of you for a reason. You may never know that reason, but that’s okay. You’re only responsible for taking advantage of that opportunity.
I see things differently now than I did even 10 years ago. I worry about the society that my children are now a part of and the one my granddarlings will grow up in. Whether it’s the results of a never-ending 24-hour news cycle full of talking heads or if in fact the world is just more evil now (or some kind of weird combination of the two), it does certainly seem that there are more people hell-bent on destroying as much and as many as they can. And politicians are not helping. Instead of seeking to calm and unify folks, every jot and tittle are politicized to death. The bodies had not been taken away from the Vegas concert area before cries of gun control (pro and con) were heard and both parties were having finger-pointing contests.
Just. Please. Stop. This type of catastrophe should not be made a talking point of late night television or even Meet the Press type shows. There is a real, hurting, human element here. Quit shoving it out of the way to make your point.
Be kind. Do good. Make a quilt for someone that needs a little extra love. Hug your kids, your grandkids, your significant other, your parents…quit defining this generation as one that spreads derisiveness and hate.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.