Hello from my desk at work. This Monday morning was supposed to be just like any other old Monday morning. It’s around 8:30 a.m. and I have just started up my computer. As it boots, I go to the central hub and get water and/or coffee. Once my computer has booted, I usually head straight to my email to see what’s on the itinerary for today. I have two hours until class so I try to start on whatever tasks I have to do as early as I can.
When I woke up this morning, I saw that something happened in Las Vegas. Something urgent and most likely violent as patterned by the last couple of years. No, instead of heading to my inbox, I go straight to Reddit. Have you ever been in so much disbelief that you naively think everything is fine? That nothing truly awful has happened because, after all, it is (insert current year here) and that doesn’t happen here in (insert current country here). Sure enough, the front page was exactly what I had feared. A mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas. This shooting is being described as the most deadly mass shooting in the modern United States of America. Hundreds of innocent people ultimately paid the price for enjoying a concert. There’s something especially cruel about this because music symbolizes love and unity, something this shooter seems to care very little about.
I truly feel a divide in this country about every issue of every size. Whether it is gun control, citizenship, immigration, it really seems like a true 50/50 divide among our fellow Americans. Even now, the debate about gun control is yet again on every major news outlet. What I do not believe, however, is that we are divided on what happened in Las Vegas. It is clear and directly in front of us and now is not the time to point fingers.
Violence is not the answer.
The gunman wasn’t concerned with the political views of his victims, and he most certainly wasn’t concerned with the opinions of everyone watching. He only carried hate and violence. I see this as a reminder that nothing really matters other than how we treat each other. Hate is indifferent, so why do we choose that over love? We have a tendency to allow a very small group, or one person for that matter, to divide us as a people. I’m not sure where I found this analogy but I carry it with me everywhere and everyday: “A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong.” There is strength in numbers and even more strength when we are all compelled by one goal, to love and protect one another. Unity is the single most powerful weapon against tyranny and oppression. It costs nothing and can save infinitely. As I browse through the internet, I am showered with harrowing stories of people losing their loved ones, many being injured, but most notably, the volunteers helping. Even during the attack, there were people running around tending to the wounded and saving others. Volunteers, everyday human beings, helping one another in crisis. People risking their own lives and safety to help others. No gunman or tyrant can overcome the power of compassion and unity. We are all capable of this, but we continue to allow our differences to divide us, even though we all share a common goal.
I leave you with this. There is no excuse for mindless violence. Our best bet against the evil-doers that share the planet with us is love and unity. Only after we acknowledge the importance of being united can we expect to work as one powerful force to eradicate evil.