Yet again we have all been punched in the gut by a horrendous event that defies explanation. An event so revolting that it stokes a primordial rage within us. A rage that seeks something or someone to lash out against. A rage that pits goodness and innocence in its purest form against evil and destruction in its most savage form. A rage that is fueled by a deep fear that our society is unraveling at its core, and we are grasping blindly to hold it together.
We are currently faced with a life-or-death choice: come together to solve the problems facing us or retreat into our fear-based camps and prepare for battle.
Only one of those choices will prevent the destruction of society.
Only one of those choices has any hope of success and progress.
I do not believe that our continued spiral of violence is our true calling. It is not our destiny. Our true calling is to embrace the non-zero-sum game of interdependent cooperation, mutual respect, and empathy. The first step to navigate to this destiny is to understand and embrace the strength that comes from diversity of perspectives. In our current fear-based society a difference of perspective is seen as a threat to be defended against. It comes from the scarcity mindset that my perspective can only be correct if a different perspective is wrong.
When we see a situation from two points of view, we can see it in stereoscopic vision. Multiple points of view allow us to see the depth of a situation. Diversity is strength only when we incorporate the diversity of perspectives. The more perspectives we bring to a challenge the deeper our understanding of the root causes of those challenges and the more effective and resilient will be the proposed solutions.
We can all agree that the status quo is not working when innocent precious lives continue to be lost. Something must be done. The only solutions that will work are the ones that incorporate the multiple perspectives of a very complex and interdependent problem.
Please don’t allow all the lives lost in Robb, and Sandy Hook, and Columbine, and the countless others to have died in vain. Let’s honor all those lost by rallying at this moment and come together. Their legacy can be that on this day we finally set aside our egos, fear-based rhetoric, and two-dimensional mindsets and agreed to work together to stop the senseless bloodshed.
We truly are all in this together and the only way we will solve it is TOGETHER.
In this moment, we have a duty to set aside our differences and acknowledge the pain and suffering of the people directly affected by this latest tragedy and those of past tragedies. We have a duty to hold them all in our hearts and make a sincere commitment to understand the deeply interconnected and interdependent nature of the reality of the increasing number of mass shootings in the U.S. We have an obligation to do everything we can to help avoid future suffering.
There are many facets to this discussion from reducing the ease at which potentially dangerous people can legally purchase assault weapons, to increased identification and care for people with mental illness, to overcoming the alienating and isolating aspects of our society, to many other interdependent factors. None of these things can be addressed by themselves and all of them must be addressed rationally, objectively, and removed from the hidden agendas of groups with ulterior motives.
Until we do our hearts will continue to be broken.
Let’s welcome constructive comments and dialog on how we can solve this.