"WHAT IF I WAS AN ACCOMPLICE?"
Of course it's easy to point fingers at Salvador Ramos, the 18 year-old who went into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas this week and shot and killed 21 people. It's easy for us to identify him as the perpetrator armed with a long gun and a hand gun and say "yes, he pulled the trigger and killed all of those kids and adults." But what if I had a role in this horrendous act on incivility? It's a rhetorical question but should be carefully pondered for a moment. Like the old spiritual that we sang as kids, "it's not my brother, not my sister but it's me o Lord, standing in the need of prayer." Maybe it is.
The hatred displayed for human life by Mr Ramos may seem exceptional but is it really? Shortly after the shooting, politicians from both sides of the aisle began railing on each other. Democratic hopeful for Texas Governor, Beto O'Rourke, interrupted Governor Abbott with the words, "this is on you." Fox News and CNN began supporting their positions on gun control. Professional basketball coach Steve Kerr went viral with his tirade about our Senators not doing anything and imploring them to "do something. I'm sick and tired."
When it comes to how I deal with others, I want to at all times, be an example of proper conduct and civility. Sometimes these shooters have never seen civility and the only way they know how to resolve disputes is through an exhibition of their uncontrolled anger and outrage. I don't want to be an example of that. Further, I want to not only "be," but to display what civility actually looks like for others to see.
So when this event took place, I wasn't trying to find a place to lay the blame. I began thinking about what my role would be in the solution. I then began building bridges to hear the ideas of others about how to solve this problem. When we are not an example of good and proper conduct, we lay the ground work for those who will feed off of our intolerant and hateful attitudes and strike out with irrational justification against their opponents. This is how we could all contribute in some way to the killing of our kids. It is an indirect correlation so it is often missed but it necessarily needs to be considered..