Tuesday, March 20, 2018

IS ANGER THE REAL ISSUE?

Mass Shootings, school shootings, serial bombers, you name the tragedy and it is almost always someone who was upset and decided to take their revenge out on the innocent. You can turn on the news at any given time, on any given day, in the United States and these are the topics headlining the news. Guns, bombs, knives, vehicles...the weapon of choice is there; however, I believe we have a huge problem in this Country and it stems from unhappy, angry people (which for some reason, tends to be mostly white, angry males.) 

 IS ANGER THE REAL UNDERLYING ISSUE?  

We have to not only address the issues of gun violence in our Country and better security in our public places (especially schools,) but we have to address the underlying component, which in my opinion, tends to be angry, disgruntled males, who are more prone to commit these heinous crimes, that we are unfortunately seeing in our country more and more each day! Whether they use assault weapons or home-made bombs or vehicles to plow people down, there are some common denominators and one of the big ones is ANGER. Anger is one letter short of danger.   


Just recently, a 24-year old white man blew himself up in a standoff with Austin, Texas police. He was the lone suspect in these serial bombings. Time and time again, angry men continue to be the most dangerous domestic threat to this nation.  


Statistics show the number of mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and February 2018, by race and ethnicity of the shooter(s) between 1982 and February 2018, are 56 out of 97 mass shootings were initiated by White shooters. The Las Vegas strip massacre in 2017 had the highest number of victims between 1982 and 2018, with 58 people killed, and over 500 injured, also at the hands of a white male.  (Source: www.statista.com)

My 15-year old daughter survived the most recent mass shooting on February 14, 2018 at her high school in Parkland, FL, a crime also committed by an angry white male.  The reports and history of this particular perpetrator indicate he had many life-altering moments that gradually affected him and his anger towards others (his own mother, other students and neighbors,) was evident. Sadly, no one really took action to prevent the unfortunate outcome.

We can argue about crime statistics, we can point fingers at black and white, Hispanic, non Hispanic etc...but this article is mainly about the anger - the disgruntled feeling that bubbles over in the mind and soul of these individuals, that percolates to the point of literally blowing up (themselves or others.)

I cannot even begin to tell you the reasons why these people act out in such horrific ways. I mean, I can speculate: lack of love, lack of empathy, lack of self-worth? Perhaps they were bullied and had enough? Who knows? I leave that up to the psychologist, psychiatrists and those who want to analyze such things.  

What I do know, is that as a mother, as a parent of 2 young kids, step mom to three and "nana" to three little ones, my goal is to teach children what I can to make them better human beings and in turn, hopefully, my own children, will eventually raise decent human beings as well!   We have to give our children roots, a strong foundation,in which they can eventually use to fly into the world equipped to handle whatever they have to face.



MINDFULNESS MATTERS

Tragedy can strike anywhere as we know all too well.  It happens in our schools. It can happen in a church, in a movie theater, it can even happen on a soccer or baseball field.  The truth is, in today's world, we are not safe anywhere if you really start to think about it.

However, we cannot cower in fear and hide. Instead, I believe that we must demand change. We must take action.  We have to get to the root of the problem(s.) We must empower our children, (the youth of today and the grandchildren of tomorrow) to be strong in their convictions and know that they are loved and capable of great things, no matter what background, race or socio-economic demographic, they come from.

We have to teach our children from the time they are born that they ARE loved. (My thoughts are, if someone is not emotionally equipped to love a child unconditionally, they should not have one!) We have to teach them to love and show them compassion! Teach them tolerance and empathy by example. My father always told me, "todo los poquitos cuentan," meaning, "every little bit counts."  They add up. All the things we teach and show our children from the time they are young, they count. They are the building blocks to make strong decent human beings. I am not talking about raising doctors, lawyers, engineers etc...I am talking about raising loving, compassionate, empathetic human beings. All those little things we teach, they matter.


"Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see. - Neil Postman


Additionally, we must get rid of the taboo that comes with talking about mental health issues. As mentioned before, the majority of mass shootings are committed by white males.  We have to dissect the issues affecting these white males. We have to address the issues affecting our young boys, our youth in general.  We teach our kids from the time they are young, "big boys don't cry," and "girls are made up of sugar and spice and everything nice."  We need to focus on kids, on people as individuals, not just give them labels.  We are so indoctrinated in schools to follow the rules, to do well on standardized testing but no one teaches life skills - not the majority of public schools anyway.  Sure, there are always exceptions, but my point is that we have to start focusing on a person's emotional well-being as much as we focus on their academic and/or work performance. We have to also teach our children how to manage their anger in a healthy way.

We have a much bigger problem with society that is not being addressed as it should. For example, the bullying problem among children is this country is rampant. (And even with some well-known adults.) We have to recognize when a child has a problem or is the problem, and we have to address it - not let he/she fall through the cracks of a broken system. Obviously, when a child has already become a major problem (ie: juvenile delinquent) all the love and talking in the world may not make a difference, however, that individual still needs help, still needs counseling, still needs rehabilitation, if possible.


If you are part of the "system" then it is your obligation to do your job right and do it with passion and genuine care, otherwise, get out of the way and let someone who is willing to do the job, do it, without "passing the buck!"  We have all kinds of systems that fail our children and we must work together to fix that. We must demand change.

On a positive note, I must recognize that there are many good schools and good systems in place that do everything they can to protect our children, however it is those that fall through the cracks that can become a major problem in our society down the line.

The issue of anger and being "disgruntled" at someone (or something) has undoubtedly played a huge role in most mass shootings.   We can march endlessly, we can secure our schools, we can vote politicians out that we don't like, but at the end of the day, we must get to the underlying root of the problem. 

Sure,there will always be troubled people in the world but if you are a parent, a guardian, or a relative of a child, the very least we can do is teach by example and do our best to raise a generation of loving, decent human beings and help those with "issues," to find their way to get help.


"Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath." ~ Eckhart Tolle



No parent is perfect, no child is perfect.  There will always be problems.  There will, unfortunately, always be tragedy in the world, but as individuals, we must do what we can to make a positive difference in our own "bubbles. I have said it before, "We are puzzle makers in this jigsaw of life and we have to put all of our pieces together, to make it work." 

I still believe wholeheartedly, that we must continue to fight for gun reform now, but that we must simultaneously begin to address mental health issues and mindfulness. We must teach our children to teach their children and so on, to be BETTER HUMAN BEINGS! 


Our children's future depends on it!




No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank You for Stopping by the Mommy Warrior blog