Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Contract And Expand

To my son Tommy,

Through out the years and through many tragedies, I have noticed how people seem to come together and unite for a short period of time.  They come together to grieve, to support, to empathize and sympathize, to help, to yell, to do many things but they definitely come together.  People point to that and say that this is how it should be.  Unfortunately as close as people come together, that is how far they pull apart when the dust settles.

When the grieving gets done, people start looking for answers and solutions.  Many have the thought, "If people would just think like me, or do as I do, or speak as I speak, none of this would have ever happened" as they entrench themselves in their ideologies.  Republicans blame the Democrats for the incident and vice versa, religious blame the athiests or the agnostics and vice versa, NRA blames non-gun owners and vice versa, social divides, racial divides, intellectual divides and the blame goes on and on gaining more momentum than ever before because we have a tragedy to point to.  The polarization is painfully obvious as everyone thinks they have the right answer to make sure this never happens again.  As much as we grew together in the immediate aftermath, we as a society exponentially grow apart with time on the same matter.  It is this contract and expand that wears on the fabric of our society.

The sad truth is that this pull away after a tragedy is fruitless and futile and immature.  Because, even with our best efforts and intentions, we can never totally protect and prevent from tragedies.  It doesn't mean we shouldn't do something, but when the grieving is over the time to listen and accept and contemplate from all sides should begin.  We need to let common sense and compassion and understanding rule instead of our emotions.  Instead people get more bullheaded and more resolved and the results get weaker and weaker and what we are trying to accomplish with all this bickering gets farther and farther away.  Too often anger and resentment and revenge and blame fill the decisions after a tragedy.  Don't let those feelings win.  Fill your heart with love and compassion and understanding as you continue on.  I understand it is much easier said done, but we have to try.

Sincerely with love from you dad,

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