Look for the Helpers
Whenever something awful happens in this world (which is WAY too often these days), I always try to remind myself of the Mr. Rogers quote that everyone posts all over social media: “look for the helpers”. I’d like to say that it’s because I’m such a good Christian that I can always see God’s work in everything, but the truth is that I have to find the one semblance of positivity in these situations to keep from hating everyone.
Pre-kid Sara analyzed these terrible events purely with a cop mentality. Basically, who was the bad guy (or girl), what was his motive, is he [hopefully] dead now, how did the officers handle the situation, are they all ok, what would I have done if I was there? Now that I have children, my entire series of questions has been altered. I still wonder about all of those things, but I also wonder how the parents of the victims feel. I can feel their pain and their loss and it’s suffocating. I wonder how relieved (or guilty) the parents of the survivors feel. I wonder if I had been there with my children, would I have immediately brought them to safety and gotten the hell out of dodge to protect my family, or would I have stayed to help as much as possible?
When these things happen, there’s always a five-step program that people on social media think they’re required to follow. 1) “Prayers for Vegas” 2) Why didn’t anyone prevent this? 3) Why is the president doing/not doing this/that? 4) It’s time to ban guns! 5) Political bs, political bs, political bs. The only one I’m going to agree with here is number one. Prayer puts angels to flight and I believe that this country could use a whole lot more of it. As far as the rest goes, all it does is divide us. This horrific thing just happened to our people and all we can do is point fingers, lay blame and turn against each other. We start yelling at “incompetent” hotel employees for not noticing a suitcase full of guns. I mean, say that out loud, friends. Just so you can hear how silly it sounds. The most ridiculous part is that if we passed a law that all luggage entering hotels needs to be searched, the outrage would pour out across the country.
We start blaming President Trump, saying this is somehow his fault. If he had only done something, this could’ve all somehow been prevented. What would you like him to have done? Cure every American’s mental illness to prevent them from going mad and committing heinous crimes? If Hillary was president, this would’ve somehow not happened?
Then we start the epic gun law debates on our facebook walls. Here’s where people go nuts and start the de-friending. “If guns were illegal this wouldn’t have happened!” or “Everyone should be allowed to own any guns they want!” Do we all really not see that there is a VAST in between here?? No, it absolutely should not be easy for someone to buy guns. There should be applications, permits, background checks and a mental stability test (in my opinion). With the Las Vegas shooter (I will NOT state his name, because I will NOT remember his name) the unfortunate truth is that he had over 40 guns because Nevada has pretty lax gun laws. But on the other end of the argument, if someone wants to commit a crime, guess what? They will get a gun regardless of any laws or procedures in place. The crazy thing about criminals is that they don’t care about laws. Do I think someone who passes the application, checks and tests (if these procedures were actually in place) should be allowed to own 40+ guns? Absolutely. If they’ve passed everything and obtained them legally, who am I to put a limit on the number they can have?
And then finally we reach number 5, which is a plethora of politically-charged rants that push us all further and further apart and closer and closer to hate. We all say over and over again, “look for the helpers”, but that includes within you. Look for the part of you that is sick of the division. How quickly we move from the unity of “pray for Las Vegas” to “democrats this and republicans that”. Do you think the parents of those victims give a crap about their child’s political affiliation (or yours, for that matter)? The only thing they can think is that they wish they had their child back. Or they’re on their knees praying that their child recovers. Can’t we all just agree that it was an awful thing that happened and that we should all help as much as possible? Donate your blood, donate your money, donate your time. I’m sure some people believe their opinion is the most important thing they can give, but how about we start giving something worthy.
People today feel the need to take sides and hate anyone who isn’t on that side. We all have to picket and protest and hold up our signs and scream about our first amendment rights to do so. And God forbid anyone disagrees with you, then they’re infringing on your first amendment rights. Newsflash: the first amendment gives you protection from the government for anything you might say. It does NOT give you protection from society. Society has every right to ostracize you for your words and no laws will be broken when they do it. You have the right to speak, but you do not have the right to be heard. So why not say something that is guaranteed to make you heard? Wondering what that is? Ask Mr. Rogers.