Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Food for thought: Thoughts on the Tragedy

You know, just like most, I turn on the television every morning at some point while getting ready for work. I'd much rather not, but I need to know the weather for the day.

And one of the worst things is turning on the television and seeing the tag in bright vibrant colors "Breaking News".

That rarely means anything good. It usually means something drastic and/or tragic.
And that movie massacre was tragic indeed.

I had booted my computer that Friday morning so that I could post my usual Friday Freestyles, but I turned it off. I was not in the mood. When I see breaking news like that, it makes me sad. And it makes me realize some of the things I concern myself with aren't important.

It actually makes me think about life. And how fragile it is.

I heard last night on a talk radio show that you take a chance every time you step out of your front door. Heck, you take a chance even in your own house.

Why? Because you never know what's going to happen. We assume we will go to work, run an errand or two, and drive home. Or we assume we are going to a movie, enjoy it, and then go home.

So many people leave the house in the morning and don't make it back home. You just don't know.
And it made me think about that.

There has been much speculation on why someone would just open fire on people like that. I was watching a morning news program yesterday morning, and the commentator was saying that the man may be on the autism scale. I remember thinking he is going to get verbally smashed for that comment, which he was on a website that reported it.

No one can say what caused this guy to do what he did. No one was inside his mind. Could've been drugs or whatnot. Who knows.  This had been planned for months and that in itself makes for particular speculation. I don't know.

One thing I know, and something that always rings true with me whenever something like this: The very act is horrendous and tragic... but the residual effect of the act is much more so.

The residue left after the act. What I mean by that is the results of the action. This story will eventually lose its top of the news status. We are still bewildered, but have gone on to something else. But this event directly and drastically changed the lives of scores of people. It has altered the lives of the ones who lost loved ones for a long time, perhaps forever.

I remember telling my little brother when he was younger that the real reason that we don't go around hurting people or taking their lives is because there are glaring consequences for such decisions. There are not huge consequences for certain infractions... that is why you see more of it. But for something awful like murder? You can go to jail, thereby losing your life. Or you can be sentenced to death.

I heard awhile ago that it is estimated that we make over 200 decisions a day. That's a lot of decisions. Some are good decisions, and some are bad decisions.

No matter what decision is made, I know one thing that rings true: all decisions have built in consequences. I can add to that and say all decisions have a residue attached. All decisions have some lasting effect, whether it be for a split second or for a lifetime. Decisions determine who we are and where we are going. And we cannot forget that our decisions, even in the face of our own self serving ways, affect others.

And we can make many great decisions... but we will always be remembered for that really bad one.

I always look inside myself when anything like that happens. And I make sure I don't have a thought of a seed that would grow up into anything that will cause me to make a bad decision that will affect others in a bad way. I do think we have to capture issues when they are small and seemingly meaningless... before they grow into something uncontrollable.

Believe me... there are many folks walking around with something going on on the inside of themselves which will cause them to make bad choices.

That's what I'm thinking about today concerning this whole thing. I don't know what was going on in that man's mind, but he didn't look healthy, mentally or otherwise. And he probably hasn't been healthy for a LONG time. A long time. When one takes time to stockpile that much ammunition and meticulously plan out things like that?

Something is wrong on the inside.

These stories make me pause, even after a few hours prior, I myself had been enjoying a nice birthday celebration at a local japenese hibachi restaurant. And even in that setting, someone could've made the decision to stand up and fire on people. But it didn't happen. It happened elsewhere.   And it will most likely happen again.

I say a prayer for those affected by what happened that night at the movies. I pray that they are able to stand up and go on with their lives. That their minds and hearts will be healed. That the residue of this thing doesn't affect them for the rest of their lives.

I pray.

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