Good morn or evening friends
Here’s your friendly announcer
I have serious news to pass on to every-body
What I’m about to say
Could mean the world’s disaster
Could change your joy and laughter to tears and pain
Love’s in need of love today
Send yours in right away
Hate’s goin’ round
Breaking many hearts
Stop it please
Before it’s gone too far
~ “Love’s In Need Of Love Today,” Stevie Wonder, Songs In The Key of Life (1976)
There was a certain point after hearing about the tragedy in Newtown, CT on Friday, December 14, 2012 that the tears couldn’t help but fall. I was stricken with an unsettling sadness, worry, and horror. Immediately, I wondered how and why something like this could happen (again)? What was it in the shooter’s life that brought on a period of acute psychosis such as this? And how long will it take the people of Newtown (and the neighboring areas) to get back to some sense of normalcy, especially those families suffering from the loss of those they loved?
While I may never completely understand the situation, what I do know is that many of us are troubled… So much so that we’re slipping through the tracks. We’re either blind-sighted to the warning signs or ignore them altogether. Looming in our room is a pink elephant which continues to be neglected—mental illness. Never something to be passed off, mental illness—when properly diagnosed and treated—can be effectively managed. But when will we give mental illness the same kind of attention we give other illnesses in this society? How many more acts of senseless, inconceivable of violence and rage must we endure before the change we need occurs? How many more innocent people need to die before we decide to take the appropriate preventative measures?
In a society such as ours, it should never be easier to get our hands on ammo than it is to seek help for mental illness (or any other medical condition). If the laws that govern us don’t change, our days will continue to be disturbed by events such as those in Newtown, CT and Aurora, CO.
I will continue to pray for the victim’s families, the town of Newtown, CT, and our nation. Hopefully we can all pull together, stop playing politics, drop the sensationalism and exploitative tactics, and take action.
One thing I know for sure is the human spirit is resilient. No matter what the tragedy, we will heal. Better days will come. If we let love, peace, and harmony reign, we will prevail.