I was coming back over the hill yesterday morning, a bright, beautiful day looking out toward the Pacific, passing through sweet pea-studded hillsides and fields of hay being freshly mown, when I began reflecting on a recent column I wrote. More specifically, on a response I got to it (thank you for writing).
While I did mention the Boston incident, I also made an aside regarding government involvement in other activities and more, generally leaving very wide gaps between the lines of that piece in which to read.
But the reader brought up a good point which I’d like to elaborate on: these incidents are tragic, but where is the uproar over hundreds of young people getting shot on the streets everyday?
A wise friend of mine said, “Why do we have to start wars when we’re already killing each other every day as it is?”
My reader had mentioned, rightly so, that we tend to be awfully isolated in a place like Cambria and perhaps tend to not see the big picture. My sage friend was of the World War II era and has known hardships.
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I don’t expect everyone to know I grew up in a household that was not a stranger to the police knocking at our door. Three young people I knew growing up, grammar through high school age, one my best friend, were killed “accidentally” by “unloaded” guns. The last neighborhood I lived in in L.A. was butt-up against a high-crime area. It was not unusual to hear gunshots as I rode my bike into town on any given day or night.
Whether my column sparked unrest in some over mention of gun control (I really felt I was focusing on embracing each other that we may help each other…), I’m not sure. I know personally that background checks mean diddly squat. I don’t know the answer.
But just because we live in Cambria does not mean we’re immune. After moving out of California, my older son has been mugged twice. Yes, my younger son is still insulated from the real world in the sense that he’s not had much other than verbal threats from strangers.
And then there’s the tragedy in Bangladesh. That is something we are ALL responsible for; these are the lessons I’ve long tried to teach my sons: violence is everywhere, social responsibility is up to us all, reach out to others.
Yes, every day someone on the planet is getting needlessly killed, while others are suffering to make us one more cheap T-shirt that we didn’t really need anyway because we already have 10.
Pardon my rant. But, surely you have those days where you pick up the paper, turn on the news or scan your Internet and wonder what is going on, who or what is responsible for all this — WE ALL ARE!
Where does your food come from? What resources are required to produce it? Clothes? Computer components? The latest cell phone? What happens to it when we haphazardly dispose of it? Are any of these “things” worth losing your life over? Perhaps these are the lessons that are missing being handed down. I don’t know.
Forecast for next week: Sunny and bright!