The beginning of the year is always a time of newness, when we are able to be hopeful that the coming year will be filled with vitality, joy, merriment, glee and goodness. Yet, so far in January, it seems that the sheer intensity of crime has increased, as though diabolical demons are seeking to capture more souls and create chaos. Following my news feed, I can’t help but wonder, what will it take for this nation filled with consumerism to finally learn that our power is in understanding our humanity?
Ever since the mass shooting in Columbine, there seems to be a steady rise into this horrendous crime, perpetuated by those who choose to unleash their fears on the world or have someone else kill them rather then themselves. It has sparked gun control debates, but has resulted in no true change, and in lieu of change, we’ve settled to sit on the precipice of time, waiting for the next angst-ridden teen, disgruntled adult or mentally ill individual to grab an available weapon to shoot innocent people due to their own “issues.” Yet, I wonder, how would things be if we stopped lobbying for multi-million dollar companies and instead focused on the importance of loving the person beside us?
I am not arguing the pros or cons regarding gun control, instead, what I am insisting upon is that we be reminded of the importance and value of human life; that we again regard society as a village - a village needed to raise the youngsters in our care; a village that is there to assist the ill and poor, and, of course, a village that is not so preoccupied with Washington’s lobbyists that the cares and concerns of the nation’s citizens are disregarded.
Maybe if we spent less time pushing a ____________ (insert vice of choice) on others and started to remember the value of those around us, then this world can indeed become a better place.
The War on Poverty
This week marked the anniversary of Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration of War on Poverty. Somehow the perpetuation that millions are living the life off of the government’s “handouts” has been propagated by the media, movies and music, but the truth of the matter is that the entitlements provided by government are to assist those, who are unable to bridge the gap of assistance needed.
Having grown up with welfare and using food stamps, the only thing I personally wanted was to have food on the table, a roof to cover my head (rent subsidy) and to be safe from the ever growing street violence. Living an impoverished life is not a choice for millions of children. They are born into situations out of their control, but it is through education that changes are made – not by entitlement-shaming. When politicians degrade an ever growing percentage of the population, who is doing all that they can do, to make ends meet, then I can’t help but again wonder, how we would be, if we truly cared about the communities, in which we live.
Interestingly enough, we are easily moved by images of starving dogs, but are easy to say that the mother, who is washing her children up in the public restroom, made poor choices and the decision to live so. A society that fails to care for its feeble, hungry, homeless and poor is on the brink of doom, because it has lost sight as to what it means to be human.
I don’t know the answers to our world’s problems, and my ultimate goal is to start a conversation, but I fear that if we don’t change courses, and start respecting those around us, and understanding that everyone has value, then we are coming ever closer to being a society built on the blood of the innocent.
So, tell me: Have we lost our humanity and what can we do to try to heal our communities and nation?
TINA GLASNECK is a fearless crime fiction author. Her latest release, ANGELS CRY, is available on Amazon. Connect with Tina on Facebook!