Today I Grieve

Today I grieve, for a world which far too often erupts in violence. For a world in which we do not truly know who we can trust. For a world in which stories grow larger than life, too often do not put salve on wounds but instead open wounds, inflaming, irritating, causing blood to flow.

Our police officers are shooting young people and being accused of racism; our young people are engulfed in a world of tension and subjected to violent responses to irritants, too often mimicking those violent responses rather than using logic or reason. Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in flames and anger last night after the Grand Jury’s verdict was announced, acquitting the police officer of guilt. Were they right? Will we ever know with certainty who is right? Is it a case of one of the parties being completely right and the other completely wrong? I suspect not. Our children are not always innocent, we do not always know what they are doing out there beyond our vision. But neither are adults always right, neither are police always the good guys. We are all human, subject to human frailties, human biases, fear, jealousy, emotional responses.

Our young people respond to slights, bullying, being ignored, with violence. They bring weapons to schools to get their revenge. To right wrongs. They follow the lead of the adults around them, or the lead of adults they have read about, seen on television or in movies.

Bullying is the topic of the day. I regret that it happens, but I also wonder if what we are terming bullying today is what was known as “teasing” a few years ago – teasing that might irritate and inflict small wounds, but was dealt with by the recipient. I survived a number of incidents that I guess could have been called bullying when I was a teenager. My legs were slightly bowed, and that was pointed out to me by a number of classmates during some of my school years. I was not part of an “in” group, always a bit of an outsider. But I survived. That is not to diminish the negative results of true bullying, but we seem to be a nation of over-reacting in so many situations, it makes me wonder how much can be believed, how much should be taken to heart.

Where does the blame belong? On parents, for failing to provide stability, love, security? On television and movies, for glorifying violence? On our government, for responding to threats – real or implied – with violence? For failing to act in a manner of resolve, behaving like intelligent people, using reason and logic? Have we forgotten to teach about responsibility for our actions? Have we lost our ability to view with objectivity? I wish I had the answers.

Today I grieve.

About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 1 dog, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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10 Responses to Today I Grieve

  1. suzicate says:

    The world is such a sad and confused place at times. Unfortunately, the media plays a big part in these types of things…they stir things up and people react, unfortunately not always in the best way. If only the media worked to unite the world instead of dividing it. Just think of how beautiful life could be if we all acted and reacted in the name of love and peace…

    Like

  2. Carol — Today I grieve with you, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Heather says:

    I also grieve with you. I can’t even stand to see/read the news. I read of so many cases where the police officers are undoubtedly the bad guys, and I can’t help but feel for folks who feel wronged. Violence, I think, is not the answer. But these people live in a city that seems to position leadership at odds with its citizenry. Again, violence – especially badly misaimed violence – isn’t the right way to go, but what do you do when there never seems to be accountability for law officials?
    Yes, I grieve. I hope for better days.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Robin says:

    I grieve with you, too, Carol. I wonder how much better off we might be if the 24-hour news reporting went away so that people would have time to act rather than react. The media rushes to judgment and facts get left behind.

    Wonderful post, my friend. Thank you for expressing what some of us are thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am very sad too, Carol. There is something very wrong with our world, and it needs fixing.

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  6. It is a sad world, Carol, and I don’t know the answer either. I see a lot of decay in American society, in the decay of family, community, connectedness. It’s strange that I can see it better from afar, when I’m removed from it and immersed in a different culture. It really hits me sometimes that in a country as vast as China that I can feel secure getting on a motorbike with a complete stranger and not worry at all about my safety. Sure, petty theft and pickpocketing occur (at least I’ve heard of it), but generally I feel it’s a safe country. Community is stressed above all, rather than individuality, and though I value my ability to be an individual and to be able to think independently in America, I can see the strong bonds that exist between family and community here in China. When I’ve traveled in Spain and Portugal, and when I lived in Oman, I saw the strong bonds of family and community as well. I think there is way too much violence on TV and in movies in America, and too much sensationalist news reporting of violent acts, which influences people with grudges or depression to go out in a firestorm of glory, taking as many people with them as they can. It seriously grieves me every time a child picks up a gun and goes on a shooting rampage in a school. Honestly, I don’t feel safe in America, and I’ve felt safe in nearly every country I’ve lived and traveled in, except for a couple.

    I do believe this situation in Ferguson is complicated. I admire policemen who put their lives on the line every day to protect our safety, but I think sometimes they overreact; some macho policemen just like the power that holding a gun brings. Emotions run high in situations like this, and we don’t know how we would respond under the same circumstances. I get a little tired too of African-Americans bringing out the racial card for every situation that they feel slights them. We do have that long history of racism in America though, and that can’t be easily erased.

    Things need to change in America before we see our whole society disintegrate into chaos. But where do we start? Small acts of kindness and love are at least one step in the right direction.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Joanne says:

    I have only heard snippets of news here in Australia, but a Facebook friend posted that she lives three miles from the incident you speak of, and helicopters were circling her area yesterday afternoon (my time). I do believe that the media are responsible for many of the problems the world is facing today, also schools are treating children differently….as you say, you were teased as a child, but you got over it; nowadays, such light-hearted teasing is almost a criminal offence. I’ve seen the changes in society toward the young over the years myself, with having a younger son who is twelve years younger than my eldest, and two girls in between. The elder two “survived” quite nicely, the younger two, at times, come out with some outrageous statements and ideas, which even shock the elder two. It is, indeed, a changing world we live in. Regardless of the right and wrong in the situation you speak of, a life was lost, a family is grieving, and sadness is felt worldwide.

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  8. Lisa says:

    I agree with Suzie, Robin and Catbirdinchina about the media fanning the flames of unrest just to sensationalize a story. It’s a sad situation when anyone loses a life….regardless of the color of their skin. But, looting and setting fire to innocent business owner’s livelihoods only reinforces negative opinions that already surround a volatile situation. I’m sure there is much more to the story than we’re being fed by the press.

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