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A House Divided

The Bible says a house divided against itself cannot stand. Whether you believe the Bible or not this is true and right now our nation is divided. It seems like few people can agree on anything and nothing is getting done. We've been divided for a long time but the longer we are divided the worse it gets and the harder we are going to fall. And make no mistake, if we keep going like this, we are going to fall; eventually.

There's a huge debate going on right now. It's been going on for years. Every time there's a mass shooting we cry out for better gun control but gun control will only get us so far. There is a severe lack of empathy, compassion, kindness, and accountability in our society and in order for the violence to stop we need to address THESE things, too...gun control alone can't do this. I always read the comments section of any news article I read and basically on anything really...and the biggest trend I've found is that we're too busy pointing fingers at each other, laying the responsibility on someone else, to actually help. The left blames the right and the right blames the left. It seems like no one takes responsibility anymore. We need to get rid of the lines and meet in the middle. We need to learn to work together again. We need kindness and compassion again. Collectively we seem to have a problem putting blame in the wrong place. If a Muslim kills someone, people blame all Muslims, BUT that's not fair to Muslims. If a black person commits a crime, same thing; all black people must be criminals. They're not! A Christian did you wrong, all Christians are hypocrites. See where I'm going with this? We need to stop blaming the whole and look to the individual responsible. 

I think we are all broken in one way or another and we all wear masks to hide ourselves because we are afraid of being judged for our brokenness. But the very people that are doing the judging are just as broken as everyone else. They just wear their masks differently than we do. They lash out to hide their pain. They're full of hate because of things they've seen, heard, learned, or were taught but make no mistake, they are still just as broken as everyone else. Read the news and you will find a never ending display of examples of our brokenness: mass shootings, terrorist attacks, any murder, all murders, the opioid epidemic, child abuse, trafficking, racism, hate. We're so very broken.

As I said before, I have an obsession with reading other people's comments on everything and I see a broken world and it hurts me deeply to see it. I want so desperately to fix it, to make the world a better place, but I'm just one person and I don't know how. I do what I can but it's not enough. It's never enough. I feel hopeless in the face of so much hate. So much brokenness. What am I to do? How do we come back from where we are? How do we overcome all the hate? 

I've seen so many people saying gun control was the only solution to but I disagree. While I do think gun control is important, I don't think removing all guns is the answer. I don't blame the weapon anymore than I blame religion or political affiliation. It's the PERSON. Stricter gun control is only going to help so much...but not enough. We need to focus more on better mental health awareness, better access and resources, better trained professionals, etc. Removing the guns is really only like slapping a band aid on the real problem. Our country has a serious problem. We are all so broken. We NEED to focus on that and getting more people help. We need to end the stigma associated with mental health and counseling. We need to talk about it more...Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying that mental illness is the reason for mass shootings or violence. I know that most people with mental health issues are nonviolent. What I AM saying is that we are all broken and we need to start trying to put us back together. Better mental health resources are a step in that direction. Learning to remove our masks and to talk about what has harmed us or broke us, and learning coping skills are all things that can help us heal. We need to heal.

We need to remove our masks and start talking about our brokenness. We need to start talking about things more. We need to be open to admitting maybe we're wrong and we don't know everything. We need to stop pointing fingers at anyone that doesn't agree with us and be more willing to take some of the blame onto ourselves. We need to start putting ourselves in other people's shoes. We need to stop judging without all the facts. We need to start thinking before we speak and to remember that there's an actual person on the other side of that screen. I love the internet, I really do, but I think it's partly to blame. It's taken away interpersonal communications and with it we've somehow forgotten how to interact with each other. We've become cold. It's so easy to quickly type out a scathing reply to someone. So easy to be cruel...to forget that there's a person with feelings reading what you typed. A lot of the time, things said online are not things you would say to a person face-to-face; or at least you wouldn't have in the past... 

In my job, I transcribe History & Physicals for our teenage clients. The things these kids have been through can be so heartbreaking. The traumas they've endured, the abuse and abandonment...and they're just the tip of the iceberg... it's no wonder our society is so broken. We're living in a vicious cycle of repeating what was done to us by doing it to others. Generation upon generation, day after day. We've developed this sense of "Well, no one helped me, why should I help anyone?". And the cycle continues.

If we really want things to change for the better we need to find away to put aside our differences and work together to overcome hate. That can only happen if we are willing to look at ourselves first and acknowledge our own parts in the problem. We must first be willing to see where we as individuals are just as responsible and just as guilty as the next person...we must be willing to admit that maybe we aren't right...and be willing to then change.

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