For the Victims

Another day. Another shooting. 17 more lives senselessly lost. 15 more lives wounded. Countless lives changed forever.

Another day. Another endless casting call of politicians and pundits thumping their chests blaming this or that thing, or this or that person.

Another day. Another Facebook filter…”Pray for [something new].” Another meme…”More people are killed by hammers…..” Whatever.

Another day. Another outrage. Another opportunity not to unite, but to divide.

My heart has been so heavy since Wednesday’s tragic mass murder at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. As an educator I am, frankly, terrified. As an American I am ashamed. As a human being, I am saddened beyond belief at what we are capable of. But, sometimes words help me process. Sometimes they help me hope. These helped me (a little). Maybe they’ll help you, too.

what would happen if this time
By Jason Walker

what would happen if this time
instead of retreating to our
idealogical foxholes and
lobbing hate bombs
across a political No Man’s Land
barren and wasted by years
of senseless warfare
we braved the pitfalls
of going Over The Top and
met in the cursed middle
and looked our enemy-friend
in the eye
and in a moment of unrepentent honesty said
“i don’t know how to fix this”
and in a moment of unrepentent honesty they replied
“i don’t either”
and in a moment of desperation we said in collect
“we can figure it out together”

what would happen if this time
instead of searching blindly
in the darkness of grief turned anger
for some(One)thing to blame
only to realize there is blame
around every corner
and in every mirror
we honored our human instinct
and let grief stand alone
and allowed ourselves to stand alone in it
and looked our enemy-friend
in the eye
and in a moment of unincumbered compassion said
“i don’t know how to make you feel better”
and in a moment of unincumbered compassion they replied
“i don’t either”
and in a moment of agony we said in collect
“let’s grieve this loss together”

what would happen if this time
instead of being forzen by the
unimaginable happening yet again
and again (unimaginably)
doing nothing in the face of an imperative
to do something
we let ourselves be Humane
and not just human
and even if we had to reach deep inside
we looked our Brother-Friend
in the eye
and in a moment of uncommon courage said
“i want what’s best for You”
and in a moment of uncommon courage they replied
“i want what’s best for You”
and in a moment of Opportunity we said in collect
“let’s do what’s best for Us Together”

what would happen if This Time
instead of doing what we did Last Time
we could make it so there was never a Next Time


God, grant rest to the souls of the departed. Grant comfort to those left behind. Grant peace to us all.

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4 thoughts on “For the Victims

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  1. In a world with such ugliness, this was just so beautifully written pal. I see arguments about whether it was 18 or 3, whether this gun should be banned or this one shouldn’t, all the while the continued inane arguments are happening all over social media while I just shake my head at the lunacy of it all. Everyone wants so BADLY to be right, that they don’t even realize in their triteness that they aren’t even close to being a part of any solution.

    You really hit home with this one. As the husband of an educator and the father of two students, each and every time one of these atrocities occurs, my heart breaks a little. I too fear for my loved ones. And I try to empathize with what is unfathomable to anyone who hasn’t been there.

    I consider myself to be a bright person. Probably give myself more credit most times than what is due. So this week I really, REALLY was consumed by this horror that plagues us. Surely there is a some answer that I can find if I give it enough thought. And I did find one. The one thing I absolutely know, is that I don’t know. And that is yet another horrifying part of this who God forsaken mess in which we find ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael! You said what I couldn’t seem to find the words to say until yesterday. I don’t know either, but there has to be some solution.

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      1. I obviously didn’t proof read (which I am wont to do). But thankfully you got the gist.

        But reading your reply brings up another thought. You and I differ in a lot of our political leanings (and agree on much too). I enjoy reading you (always!) even when I might strongly disagree. I don’t jump on your posts on tell you where you’re wrong. I have a great respect for your mind so I think. I enjoy you mostly because you make me think.

        Yet the norm has become an social media shouting match about how I’m smarter than you. One side are “libtards” and the other is a bunch of “hillbilly rednecks.” And this pervades into Washington. We have become a society of preset positions and notions who are thoroughly convinced we know it all. Compromise is unacceptable and we have nothing to learn.

        This may be more at the root of the problem and is yet another thing I have no idea how to fix….

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      2. Nor do I. I try to be a voice of reason, but very few people want to be reasonable anymore. Yes, I have strong feelings, and sometimes I let them get the best of me; but, I always try to be respectful of both sides. I always enjoy your input. Feel free to jump in any time!

        Like

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