NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:
The latest shooting is so horrifying. It also makes one ask, what is happening to our young men that this many are killing in cold-blooded ways and even killing masses of people?
I completely support banning assault weapons, but they are just the last link in the chain that leads to these horrible events. I think the biggest problem is the state of our society and our families.
We have a society that worships the almighty dollar and those who have money and/or fame for any reason. Unfair business policies are excused and accepted because “it’s just business” and “buyer beware.” People are often referred to as consumers. It sounds dehumanizing.
Judgmentality, incivility, division, distrust and even hatred seem to be the norm. Some of it even comes in the name of religion.
Grotesque violence is considered entertainment in TV, movies and video games. This can probably desensitize someone without a strong counterbalance.
For various reasons, too many families are falling apart, and too many of us as parents put our own desires ahead of the responsibility of providing a loving, secure, supportive, yet training environment for our kids. But most parents are not selfish and want to provide that kind of home. They just need to know how to do that, and to have the strength to face down all the negative forces around their children.
Our schools have become places of judgment and measuring up to expectations on so many levels for many kids and of feeling not good enough at an early age. Our schools and teachers themselves live in the spotlight of constant public scrutiny and criticism. Test scores have been elevated in importance beyond proportion. Accountability and standards are necessary, but can’t they be achieved in less demoralizing and more effective ways?
Government has a place in solving the serious situation that we find our country in. Churches and civic groups do, too. So do businesses. Maybe when it comes to raising healthy young people, it really does take a village.
We all, as individuals, are part of that village and can have a big impact. We can monitor our own speech to be more positive and less critical in the things we say. We can give people the benefit of the doubt and look for the best in them. We can have a smile on our faces more often and express appreciation for even little things. We might even offer no-strings- attached help to a person or family.
Even if only a few of us can make ourselves change for the better in one small way, maybe we can start a ripple effect that could eventually make a difference.
To quote an old song: “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. No, not just for some, but for everyone.”