Our feasts ended, our families dispersed. The Thanksgiving holiday was over. Late November winds blew in a change of energy. More frenetic. I, and others, braced for the madness. December delivered her, each week ramping up the frenticism to a new level. I gave up talking on my cell phone--even though always with my bluetooth--while driving. Three wrecks occurred within a mile of me that week after I decided to kiss convenience and multi-tasking goodbye in lieu of safety--mine and others'. The season seemed crazier this year. Rude, scary drivers; grimacing shoppers. I had errands but I stopped them all but the necessaries two weeks before Christmas. And then. Newtown. The tragic event seemed to blanket festivities. A hush fell. Hearts wept. Solemnity was needed and happened. The mood seemed to dampen. All of the sudden, it seemed a bit pointless, this shopping madness. What really mattered? As a culture, maybe we took stock of that. Somewhat.
As we march into the New Year, I wonder and ask: What have we learned?
For a bit, I took heart that once pro-gun proponents were speaking up on the necessary ban on assault weapons and other artillery of mass destruction. If it were left up to me, well, I believe in the strictest of strict gun control. But, we seemed to get it that guns were just part of the issue. Our mental healthcare system once again failed and innocent victims lay in the wake of destruction of access and failure.
I read opinions, blogs. I talked to friends. And, now, I share here a compilation of thoughts:
Twenty-six people didn't die. No, twenty-eight people died. Twenty-six as a result of the shootings at the elementary school. Plus the mother of the shooter. Plus the shooter.
It is so easy for us to label "good," "bad," "evil." It makes us feel better somehow. It separates us. I believe in a world where we are all one. Some of us, many of us forget to seek the light that we are. Some choose paths that are not for the greater good. We all do in someways when we fail to remember who we are.
If we pray for the 26, let us pray for the family of the mother. The family of the son. They, too, suffer from this tragedy.
We are talking about the wrong issues, said a long-time-no-see friend I was blessed to have seen out running those necessary errands. I paraphrase: We are asking the wrong questions, she said. What about love? What about compassion? What did we do as a culture that someone goes out and does this?
Tragedies do not happen in a bubble. We are a culture. We are a web. How are we failing each other? How are we supporting each other?
I and others wonder if this is what 2012 was about. Many believed the year it was an opportunity to shift into a greater consciousness of love and inclusitivity. Look at what attitudes of exclusitivity have done to us as a human race world over.
"A huge part of our task in such situations [as Newtown] is to work to change the outer by changing the inner, transmuting our pain and focusing on such qualities as grace, mercy, compassion, and love."
Here's to the inner journey, holding with hope that in the New Year, this coming 2013, that we continue to heal the inner and transmute to the outer.