One year ago this week I was at a work event on a college campus. I was 7 months pregnant. The room erupted in screams of an active shooter in the building. People started sprinting. Pushing tables and chairs and screaming “shooter,” “run” and “get out, get out.” We ran, there was no other option. Everyone ran out while the police ran IN. I was 7 months pregnant, holding my belly to protect my baby from the crowds while running. All belongings were left behind – phone, laptop, car keys, wallet. I couldn’t get in touch with Al. The details of that day don’t matter; it ended up being a false report and everyone was safe and eventually got home to their families. It was the most scared I’ve ever been in my entire life. And it was a false report. I can’t even imagine the fear when it’s not a false report.
I’m not one to speak openly and publicly about current events, or one to use this blog as a platform for discussion on said topics. But Vegas. Vegas has affected me differently. And I don’t know if it’s because I’m a parent now, or if it’s because these events just keep happening, and getting worse, or if it’s because I’m scared for my family and the future generations. Or if it’s all of those things.
But there is just so much hate. Not only from the evil people behind these events but from all of us. To each other. There’s hate towards gun owners, non gun owners, towards religion and non religion, towards police and different races, towards rich people and poor people, towards climate change and marijuana and everything. Just everything. There is just so much hate.
There are bad people. There are bad gun owners, bad police, bad religious people, bad rich and poor people. But there are also good ones of all those things. We will always disagree. We will always have differing opinions. But I’m so sick and tired of the hate from everyone. It seems like these days if you don’t agree with every opinion of someone else’s then you’re a terrible person who can’t coexist, can’t be friends, can’t be acquaintances.
Social media is the worst. The absolute worst. I didn’t even want to check social media yesterday because instead of taking five seconds to think about the people involved in an event like this everyone just starts screaming about their different opinions on guns.
We are broken. Our country is broken. And you know what, no one has the right answer. Not you, not the person sitting next to you, not the leadership in our states and country. No one. Because in all honesty there will never be a right answer.
But the next time you take to hating, or attacking someone else’s views try conversing with them. Understanding their point of view. You will likely not agree or change someone’s mind, but you can at least eliminate some of your hatred for five seconds. We are all different. We come from different backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, values. There is no one size fits all to the problems our country faces.
I’m scared. And I’m sad. I’m sad for responsible gun owners, I’m sad for good police officers, I’m sad for other races. I’m sad for religion and I’m sad for the wealthy who help. I’m sad for bad people. And I’m sad for you. Because you know what. In an event like this your race, profession, religion or political values and beliefs mean nothing. It’s people helping people. Strangers comforting strangers. Communities showing up for other communities. Stop hating.
Protest what you want, share your beliefs and values, encourage others to write/call to senators and leadership but do it in a way that isn’t hating others. And while I know that kindness won’t fix the problem, it’s a start.
It just didn’t feel right to do my normally scheduled monthly Louie update this week. So that’s waiting. Hug your babies people. Hug them twice.