Cross My Heart and Hope to Write


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sandy Hook Reaction: Tête-à-tête UPDATE

There is a tragic epidemic spreading across the United States. I'm not quite sure where it began or how the infection started, but it appears to be growing. It is characterized by intense violence directed at your fellow man.

The atrocious events that took place a week ago in Newtown, CT have brought to the fore issues that have been teeming at the heart of this outbreak for quite some time. The brutality exhibited is tied into other circumstances surrounding American culture today. Why, with so much technology, are we so alienated from one another? Why do we choose to communicate through a screen rather than face to face? Bullying is nothing new, but when it is exhibited on the internet, it becomes property of the world, leading to an all new breed of anxiety. Suicide runs rampant. The pathways in place to keep us connected have drawn us apart. An older gentleman told me he used to hitchhike everywhere in the 1970's, but now he wouldn't dare set foot in a stranger's car. What the hell happened to us?

The politics in place on the television and on our radios only mask the true issues at hand. The way in which media networks have reported on recent events attests to our addiction to entertainment. We are becoming crueler and further alienated from one another. We are surviving off of stigma, force fed dramatized reality, being lobotomized by primetime televised genocide, and it is corrupting our genes.

We must, together, persevere to reverse this growing calamity. No amount of diplomatic bickering and institutionalized rights can alleviate the American people of responsibility. We must collectively embrace our identities as human, as American, and work together to save each other, from each other, from ourselves. There is a civil war occurring in our hearts and it is spilling out into the streets. The only way we can win this war is through love - Love for ourselves and our fellow human beings.

Tête-à-tête: A Reflection on School Shootings in Two Parts 

There are few things that I hold unjustifiable.
Few acts persist with purity
As inarguably heinous
As the senseless murder
Of the innocent…
The helpless and
The defenseless
In public places.
A mall,
A movie theatre,
A church,
But none more despicable
Than a school.
There is nothing more tragic
Than when utmost ignorance
Conquers a safe haven of education,
As if chains had suddenly conquered their keys.
The only time books and bullets should share the same space
Is in a social studies book;
The only time a child should have to smell gunpowder
Is on the Fourth of July.
No one should have their innocence
Ripped away from them;
No one should have to die
In a classroom.  
I sympathize with the mentally ill,
The delusional,
The misinformed,
But I cannot sympathize  
With those that deliberately take the lives of students  
In a violent act of self-aggrandizement.
I cannot pool my pity
For this monstrosity;  
For the purity of evil it distils.
The thought processes required
To compel a human being
To massacre children and young adults
Is an infectious adulteration
That strikes at the crux of a person’s humanity,
Transmutating them into something
Far more vile,
More disgusting than I think any one of us is capable of conceiving.
But anger…
And vengeance,
And hatred
Are not the answer.  
This is not about gun control
Or mental health issues,
This is about the worth of the human character.
This is about the need to act,
To quell the spread
Of this infectious disease.
To save the lives of the innocent
We must save the lives of those who seek to kill them.
We must stop the beasts
Before they feed.
Realize that
The shooter was innocent too once.  
We must learn to support each other,
Through love and acceptance.
We must learn to read the signs of danger
And to act on them,
To save the perpetrators from themselves.
They will thank you…   
We can no longer be afraid to help one another,
To fear the stigma,
The backlash.
It is a chore that must be undertaken by each and every one of us,
To winnow out the demons that possess our fellow man.
Build a gun that shoots bullets of compassion…
And we can blow away this mess. 

I am so sorry
For what has happened here…
So sorry
For what your fellow man has done.
The love that binds you
To the loved ones you have lost
Binds us all together
In the wake of this tragedy. 
The memory of their beauty,
The grace with which they have touched our lives,
Will no less persist
In my mind
And heart
Than in yours.
Let us,
In our collective sorrow,
Reflect on them
With the confidence
That their death  
Will ensure the world is made
A better place.
I am so sorry
For your loss…
For my loss…
For our loss,
For the loss to humanity.
I am so…
So sorry
That my poem
Cannot bring them back.   

This poem is dedicated to the memory of all those who have lost or given their lives as a result of a mass shooting. My love and my words go out to the families of those lost and anyone else who is connected to or has been affected by a public shooting. 
God Bless America  

A recording of this poem can now be found on the ReverbNation profile. Check it out and share it with your friends! 

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