As this post was written on Valentine’s Day, our hearts go out to the families of Broward County, who were struck by the, apparent, sudden shootings. We are saddened by this loss of life and innocence, and pray for strength and peace, for all of us. Once again, where do we go from here, as a global community? How do we really help to reconcile this tragedy, in our hearts and minds, and in the hearts and minds of our young people?
Are we all responsible, in some way, for contributing to a violent society, if we tolerate, violence, and then act surprised when the movies and television that we watch, and the music that we hear, becomes life imitating the art we allow our young to support? And what about the shooter? Certainly the echo of his heart must have been, where is the love? Hurt people, hurt people. Did the shooter get support, before something inside of him yielded, to the unthinkable? Was he a part of the in crowd at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School? Did somebody, anybody reach out to this kid, before the very alienation, so pervasive, in this kind of antisocial, deviant behavior took root? Did his life matter? Who included him? Who excluded him? At some point, as a society, we are forced to care about these offenders, who make our lives a living nightmare, otherwise, what we ignore will persist. Another devastating shooting involving our children. It must stop and Government must assist with the necessary solution to help prevent these massacres, and immediate gun control legislation is one of these critical key answers.
As a Physician, from a medical perspective, the scientific aspect of violent behavior and the maturation of our young people’s brains, are particularly significant, in formulating solutions, in helping to heal our society. The rational part of a teen’s brain doesn’t fully develop, until around 25 years old. Before that time, youth are powerfully influenced, by what they see and hear, as well as the devastating impact of heightened emotions, like rejection and depression. When tragedies like today’s shooting, force me to seek answers, it reminds me that we are the guardians of all of our young, not just of the good boys and girls. So, when we allow violence, through passive observation, believe it or not, we are contributing to the desensitization, of our young people and, in essence, encouraging the violence that stops us dead in our tracks, when it hits close to home.
So, today, moving forward, we beseech us all, to live out this Valentine’s Day week, in a less comfortable way. One solution is to dig deeper, and learn to love our enemies. What happened to ‘Love the Neighbor As Thy Self? Only love will eradicate hate. It’s this simple, and this difficult.
Until next time,
Barry and Daughter, Trudi