Rambling of the Day: Change begins with us

6 Jan

It has been three weeks since we heard the news of the shooting in Connecticut, and I still wake up thinking about it everyday. I get up in the middle of the night to make sure my daughter is where she is supposed to be. I get close to her face so I can hear her even breathing. I check and recheck on her. My heart sinks when I have to leave her somewhere without me.

Because the world is not safe for her. It is not just all a big playground at her disposal. The world is complicated. It is dangerous. There are people in it that would hurt her if given the chance.

These thoughts attack me in the middle of the night. They haunt me when I drop her off at preschool or leave her for an hour in the classroom at church. No matter how much I protect my child, she is not safe 100% of the time.

Many Americans are awakening to these same thoughts, and we are all searching for answers. We are looking at the data and digging up the studies in desperate hope that we can find the culprit behind the violence plaguing our nation. The president is talking about guns. In an ironic display of pseudo heroism, Hollywood actors have come out against guns. The manufacturers of violence think guns are the problem.

Anyone who knows me knows I obviously don’t blame guns for what happened in Newtown. But the left-right argument that goes something like, “It’s guns!” – “No, it’s not guns!” has reached a laughable level. These people are talking around the problem.

I’ve come to a place where I am almost resigned about it. I know that Hollywood and Washington will continue to talk around the problem. They will continue to sign petty non-effective bills into law and pat themselves on the back for their heroism. I am speaking nonpartisanly, too – no one in Washington will get to the root of the problem. They are the talking heads – the ones that assure us of their good intentions as they stuff their legislation with payoffs to their lobbyists. I have tuned out of the conversation they are having about this issue because I know what I’m going to hear even before I turn up the volume. It’s white noise, dead air, coming out of those talking heads. They won’t do their research. They won’t get to the bottom of anything.

Our culture has become violent, and it has become incredibly self-centered. We are losing our children. We are losing their attention to screens and to voices that are not our own. They are being instilled with values that we would never in a million years dream of teaching them – but there’s nothing we can do. At least, that’s what I’ve heard. We can’t stop them from seeing commercials for shows where people’s heads are being blown off. We can’t shield their eyes from magazine covers and billboards glorifying sex and degrading the sanctity of the body. We have to just live with the fact that this is our world now and this is how our children will grow up.

Oh, please. Anyone who wants to make that argument to me does not know me. They don’t know the strength and determination of good people in this country and around the world who simply will not stand for accepting the status quo. We will do our research. We’ll prove that there is a direct correlation between what our kids are being indoctrinated with through their culture and the violence that is escalating around us. And we’ll show the world that we don’t have to just accept that our kids will grow up glorifying violence and degradation. We’ll prove that we can instill in them the value that life is sacred, and that they must treat each other with respect.

Washington thinks it starts with them. They think the answer lies in passing the right gun laws – that somehow they will put fear into criminals by making their crimes more illegal. Common sense would have us all laugh at such a notion, but that’s what they think. We know better. We know it starts with us. It starts in our homes, with our kids. It starts with a conversation with the parents of our kids’ friends. It starts with mutual agreements between us about what is and is not acceptable for our children to be exposed to. It starts with us.

We can’t end violence. We can’t eliminate evil from our nation. If someone wants to hurt our children, gun laws will not stop him from doing so. But we have to do something. Our world did not become the way it is overnight. We got here so gradually that we could not have predicted fifty years ago what would be allowed on cable television. It’s not irreversible, though. The damage is not irreparable. We have to demand change – not simply from our law books, but from our culture.

Check out the website http://takethechallengenow.net/. It’s a really interesting idea that has actually proven to be very successful where it has been implemented. The site also has some really useful scientific research that is definitely worth a peek. 

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