Today a friend posted on FB, very early, when most were probably still asleep, that today would be an interesting day at work as she was all ready receiving text messages. I commented that I hoped it would not be all that interesting for her.
A bit later I posted an image “Angry Birds” all sitting in a row on chairs outside an office marked “Anger Management”. It was meant to be humorous, of course, as many friends play the game “Angry Birds”.
I posted a favorite quote on Pinterest “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” ~ Buddha
A bit later, I was working and a friend FB’d me. Her husband had called and told her there was a gunman at the mill where her husband and mine work. Did I know? No, I said, but I’m sure my husband would call and let me know when he knew something. He did.
And still it didn’t bother me too much. I generally have faith in the long run that things work out. And he didn’t sound concerned. Later I found out, however, that the gunman has two hostages and is holding them in a room directly across from my husband’s office, in an adjacent building. There will be no work done today. Or at least very little. I know the hostages personally, one as a friend for nearly 30 years. And I am wrought with concern to the point of nausea. I am equally concerned for my husband, not because of the gunman, but because he has a health condition that is life threatening.
Irony. That I should post a picture regarding anger minutes before, but taking a humorous approach, my focus on the game, not the emotion. Irony that I would post a quote on anger on Pinterest. Irony that I would worry more about my husband’s health, than a gunman.
Life is full of ironies.
Anger. I have always thought anger was a useless emotion and a waste of energy. I hate it when I have been given to moments of anger. It serves no useful purpose unless you channel it into something purposeful. Guns do not.
I am not anti-guns. My parents were hunters. My father was a NYC policeman and taught my mother and I both how to shoot. I was raised to respect them, not fear them. And I still do not fear guns.
I do fear people. I fear the people who were not raised as I. And I feel sorry for people who can not see another way to solve a problem that they would be driven to such extremes. I am sorry their needs were not, or could not be met. I don’t believe they come to this situation readily, they are trained for this by circumstances.
We see violence on TV dramas. Too much. I strongly believe it makes us immune to feeling what it really means. The pain it causes, long after the incident. Violence sells.
We seem to be less and less concerned with the human condition. What happened to the words of the 60’s “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. I’d like to hold it in my arms and keep it company”? Today we hear “make sure you are happy then you will make other people happy”. We buy Coach and then say we can’t afford to feed our neighbor. Corporations make policies that effect employees on a very base level, but make no overtures of working with them and considering their input or impact. We cut people off in traffic. We allow a co-worker to be bullied.
I am not making excuses for people’s behavior. We all do this from time to time, in one manner or another. But I do believe that as a people, we are too inconsiderate of how another person’s life may be. We judge people based on face value – be it color, behavior, social class, political standing. We judge. “Judge not, lest ye be judged”.
Following this stand-off at the local paper company the pundits will have their say. The community will have its say. Blame will be placed and deflected. Remarks will be made about the gunman. Everyone will have an opinion of “if only…”.
Whatever happens, it will take time to heal. Some wounds do not heal. They are reminders that we need to improve our human condition.
These are my thoughts as I keep prayer for my husband and his co-workers. For my community, small and rural, made of hardworking folks who strive to do the best they can with what they have to work with. No one will be, or should be immune to the impact of this situation. I pray for the gunman that he will not cause further, irreversible harm, and that when this is over, he will get the attention he needs.
My thoughts are random. I am listless and disorganized. That is an improvement over the feeling of despair, the need to vomit when the body has no other way of coping. And resignation to what will be will be.
It is snowing. The beautiful, big, white, fluffy flakes.