Hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes. All are natural disasters. But how does one react to a man-made tragedy of equal proportions to any natural disaster?
Some will blame it on the division in America. In turn, they will blame the division on presidential administrations (past or present) or on the media (mainstream, cable or online). Yet the real answers lie in individuals and the choices each makes.
We can believe that racism is rising dramatically in America. We can believe that cops are out to get the very people they have sworn to protect. We can believe that the rich are interested only in personal gain and not in those less fortunate than themselves. We can believe that those of faith are being persecuted by secularists or vice-versa. But is America truly so divided?
Following Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, neighbors and strangers all helped one another. They all faced the same devastation and struggle. They didn’t care about black versus white, cop versus civilian, rich versus poor. They didn’t complain about injustices, but worked together to improve their situations.
Now we’ve experienced the “deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.” During and immediately following the massacre, people reacted as they had following recent natural disasters. They helped those they could in any way they could any where they could.
Now that the threat is over, people will wonder why it happened at all. Experiencing hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes simply come as part of living on the earth. Mass shootings are the result of choice. We don’t know what circumstances or choice drove this man to kill, but his actions were a result of his choices.
Now we each have choices to make. Will we choose to base our beliefs on feelings or facts? Will we choose to give our neighbor the benefit of the doubt, or jump to the worst conclusions about him? Will we choose to focus on what has been done, or on how we can help going forward? Finally, will we choose to see all that could divide us, or will we focus on what unites us?