I’ve thought about things a lot today. Surely, this tragedy in Virginia hits close to home for me and for so many of my friends. But more than the single act of what happened today, my mind has wandered to the bigger picture of how many senseless, mind-boggling tragedies like today’s happen every day, across the country. Just because they don’t happen on live TV doesn’t make them any less important or any less disgusting.
My hope is that this tragedy turns into something productive by encouraging journalists to press for answers about why things like this happen — whether it be on a local, state or national level. My hope is that whenever journalists cover the next deadly shooting or stabbing they’re assigned, they remember how this day made them feel when talking to that mother who just lost her only son or speaking to that neighbor who just saw someone get gunned down in the middle of a street where his child plays every day. My hope is that we can all become more sensitive to the fact that we are all humans, deserving of love, kindness and respect. My hope is that more people realize that a senseless murder is a senseless murder, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ZIP code and anything else people use to try to divide us.
Perhaps this nation will one day be able to keep its eyes on an actual problem, instead of being immediately distracted by something new the next day. Perhaps we will one day be able to have open, honest conversations that provoke thought instead of anger — that encourage change instead of fear. Perhaps we will one day be able to have a respectful dialogue, rather than social media shouting matches started and fueled by people who tell us we must either be 100% this or 100% that. Perhaps.
Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”