The local news ran a story yesterday about a lady who lost her wedding ring while going through the security kiosk at the county courthouse, which happens to be in my town. As is quite common for many people, she was very upset by this loss because it was sentimentally important. It was the ring her husband had proposed with. She apparently decided to make use of the news to implore the good people of my town to return her ring to her should anyone find it.
Having been posted to the website and to the news station’s Facebook page, the story reached thousands and thousands of people. 90% of those who commented ripped this poor lady to shreds. “Who cares about your lost ring? 20 children were lost today. You are an example of what is wrong with this world.” Never mind that they probably filmed that segment before news of the shooting had spread, never mind that she is not in control of what stories the news stations choose to run.
Like many others, my heart was broken by news of the shooting. I can’t wrap my head around it and it makes me sick. I have not forgotten about those children for one minute since I learned of the news. Personal circumstance triggered a bad bout of depression for the weekend but the news of the shooting cemented it. I don’t have a relative or know anyone personally affected by the tragedy. I am affected by it because that’s who I am: empathetic, especially towards the helpless ones.
That doesn’t change that my heart also broke for this poor woman, because she lost something so sentimental and because people were hating on her so much. Just because someone else is going through something worse in the world does not mean that her troubles are any less valid. That goes for everyone, not just this poor lady. Suffering is suffering, and there are no rules about what one is allowed to suffer or feel relative to what someone else is suffering or feeling. Someone with a lesser problem is not a lesser person for suffering it or for reaching out for help.
I felt guilty for a while, for being so upset about my personal situation when this tragedy was going on. I was reminded by several wise, loving people that just because what they are going through is worse doesn’t make what I’m going through invalid. Oh the love I felt from those comments, from that sentiment. I love you. That love from you was so healing. So needed.
Why couldn’t people have had that response towards that poor lady? Why did so many people feel it necessary to be so cruel? Why couldn’t they just ignore the story if it bothered them? And it’s not just this story. It’s anything related to the shooting, mental illness, gun control, etc. etc. If anyone says anything, you can be sure people are going to start fighting about something. Why are people debating and arguing with each other so passionately? Why are friendships being broken over these disagreements? Why are jokes being made? Why are people acting this way?
The truth is, what happened could be for any number of reasons and the sad truth is, there may not even be a reason for it. Sometimes things just are. I don’t understand why this most recent shooting happened. I just know it did, and right now, that is all that matters, not the reason why. So why must people fight so hard to find blame somewhere? Why can’t they just sit back and accept it for what it is, and mourn, and hold their loved ones close?
Then I read a post that suggested that people try to find blame as a method of coping, because they need life to make sense. Oh. Now I get it.
After thinking for a while, now I understand why people react the way they have been reacting. They need to be able to file this away as having had a reason and a cause. Because it’s too hard to accept that sometimes horrible things are senseless and have no reason to them. Because if something horrible is senseless, if something horrible doesn’t have a reason, then no peace of mind can be found that it can be prevented from happening again. That causes people to feel vulnerable and fearful to a level beyond what they can accept. And as far as I can understand, that is the reason people are fighting each other, being cruel to each other, rather than just letting it be and mourning with and for all affected by this tragedy and other tragedies. They want to make that awful feeling of vulnerability and fear go away, whatever it takes.
I do understand that the vulnerability people feel is very difficult. I feel it too. But I also understand that such vulnerability is a part of life, and you can’t always find that peace of mind or take action against that vulnerability. Fighting with each other won’t change that. Nothing will. The only thing that will make a difference is to hold each other close, be grateful for the blessings you still have, and do your best to help those who have lost their blessings, no matter how or why those blessings were lost. The only thing that will make a difference is love, and love can be shield and a pillar of strength. That matters far, far more than finding a place for the blame ever will.