Here we are at the beginning of a new week that’s at the beginning of a new month that’s at the start of a new year on the Jewish and Muslim calendars…and we’re experiencing the horror of imagination and empathy for those whose enjoyment of a country music festival in Las Vegas was shattered by gunfire.
Again the shared national disgust at seeing what one man can be capable of inflicting on so many.
Again a new record that no one wanted to see broken.
Again we feel the physical body blow of grief for people we may not know but can easily imagine.
My daughter would have been there if corporate shenanigans at her company hadn’t kept her in LA. So for a brief moment, I will celebrate the shenanigans of corporations whose financially driven decisions cause millennials enough stress to remain close to home.
Again we ask the persistent questions that we can’t seem to resolve.
Why did this happen?
How could someone characterized as mild-mannered suddenly flip a switch and fire a weapon for nearly two hours from a Vegas hotel room?
What triggered this break with reality?
How could nobody notice someone bringing ten large weapons into a Vegas hotel room?
What is it about disaffected white men in this country that’s leading to so much large-scale violence?
Some of you will flinch at that last question – but look at the stats, or facts. Suicide is one measure of disaffection from life – and for a culture that was built on a stated belief that life is valuable; a close look at the suicide data is shocking.
Rates are at their highest in 30 years, and most – 7 out of 10 suicides in 2015 alone – are committed by white men.
Why? No one agrees – the experts have theories, but no one knows for certain.
After spending much of the past week reflecting on the year past, and praying for the start of a healthy New Year, today is a blow and signals that while prayers are a good place to start, we need action, too.