It takes a village… Full of love

It takes a village… Not just to raise a child, but more even of a village to raise an adult. Before this weekend, before he became “the shooter”, the object of media attention and scrutiny, before all of this – society had a clearly troubled young man in its midst. He did not become troubled Sunday morning. He did not become troubled last week, or last month or last year. Yes, he may have had connections to the Middle East, but what if he hadn’t? The point is more that he grew up among us. He was a neighbor, a coworker, perhaps even a friend. I am not casting blame on any of those who knew him. Despite the media, I cannot claim to know enough of his particular circumstances. But what I am saying is that there was clearly a troubled young man who was surrounded by other people for years upon years. He was not and is not the only one. There are and will be others. No, they may not buy assault rifles and kill dozens of people. Perhaps they will only kill themselves. Perhaps they will kill nobody, but just live a troubled, sad, hurting life. Yes, you can blame just him for this weekend. You can blame ISIS or homophobia. You can blame his father, or family, or place blame any where you wish. But what about the next hurting person? What about the one after? At some point we must realize that what we really need to learn from this is that each of us is responsible for the other. As I read each message of blame and hatred (for that is what it is), my heart hurts more. When I see those messages of love and hope it lightens. Love needs to be our agenda. What we must take from these circumstances is not a call for separation, is not a need for blame – but a need for unity, for love, for building a tight-knit world where it is not so easy for someone to fester in pain, and go unnoticed until such a point that, for whatever reason, it is too late. Love must unify us, wrap its arms around each and all of us. I am not so naive as to think that we can “fix” everyone, or that love will cure the world’s ills over night. But I am convinced that love is the only thing that will.

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