To be a victim or a man is a choice. Do I focus on the past and choose blame and anger or do I start right now and choose the noble and difficult path of compassion and responsibility?
"From the hoodrats to the kids lost in a bubble..."
The song "Caught in a Hustle" may not have been directed at middle class America, though this verse clearly includes us all. Worth listening all the way through.
Warning: Explicit language used though the message easily trumps the language.
Back in July of this year I responded to an email from a good friend after Micah Xavier shot and killed five police officers in Dallas. Here was my response:
At this time we do need rules to help control society just like a person with their finger in a vise could use Novocain to stop the pain. But opening the vise is a long term solution that will allow the pain to stop and let the finger heal. We need to shift much more energy to the root causes of fear and violence.
Like family structure where parents are present not only physically but emotionally as well (I am guilty of this). Several years ago I watched a documentary called Absent that clearly connected the lack of fathering to violence and abuse towards ourselves and others.
Humility and compassion towards others. I unconditionally reject the shooter’s actions in Dallas but how many of us can extend our compassion not only to the police officers who died in the line of duty in Dallas but also to the shooter and the wounds he bore that created such extreme hate and violence. This kind of compassion can be terribly difficult and takes much humility but it does heal our own wounds and this translates to better personal, family and societal values. When it comes to our finger, it's obvious we need to open the vise but when our egos are involved in making choices and policy, it seems that we are more willing to select the Novocain.
In my own experience ONLY, I previously owned a handgun because I lived in fear. I was viewing the world negatively, always preparing for the worst. Several years ago I gave up my handgun because I finally realized that the “security” I received from owning a pistol was driven by fear. Again, my opinion only, but life is finite and I began asking myself if I killed another person so that I may live 20 more years, what would I gain? Or more importantly the question arose, what would I lose? If not quantity then, I try to live my life in the frame of quality, though I often succumb back to fear. To face life and death with courage, compassion and humility is where large scale, long lasting change and healing occur in my life. And this starts individually by invitation just like small amounts of static electricity in the atmosphere eventually form a lightning bolt. We make a difference.