A man went on a shooting spree in the town I live in last night. Multiple locations, six dead, more wounded, shooter in custody. Details here: http://wwmt.com/news/local/search-for-suspect-after-multiple-fatal-shootings
There are a lot of emotions flowing through me and my friends. The shooting started very close to my parents’ home where I grew up and they still live. It spread, and ended, in areas that I occasionally frequent. The internet is lighting up and I am sure the city is rattled. What do we do now?
Here is what I will not do.
I will not hide in my house. I will not wrap my children in Kevlar and bubble-wrap. I will not limit my children’s social activities and I will not eliminate mine. I will not change my daily routines. I will not pull the shades tighter or drive with my head lower. In short, I will not be held hostage by the evils of this world. Evil will not intimidate me nor rob me of the beauty in this world.
I will not use this horror to further my agenda in regards to pr0 or anti-gun control. It is not the time nor do I believe it is the central issue to our world’s sickness. I respect people’s passions on both sides of the issue, but I will not discuss in person or cyber-space at this time. We can talk later.
I will not be afraid. Life is too short and there is too much to do for me to spend my time worrying about catching a bullet from a random killer. Life is not meant to be spent in fear. I will not be a mouse.
Here is what I will do.
I will pray for the injured and dead. I will pray their families and the family of the shooter. In time, I may pray for the shooter, but I am not even going to pretend to be that spiritually mature this morning.
I will coach soccer. I will get out of my car, walk across the parking without crouching and enjoy the children and the game.
I will go out to lunch with my in-laws without a moment of hesitation or fear.
I will wear my Kalamazoo clothes today because this city is still really cool and I am proud of it.
I will continue to let people in my life know that I love them and care about them. I will probably throw out a few random texts to people to let them know how much I value our relationships. Instead of fearing death and losing those I love, I will celebrate life and the love I have for people. I have written it before, but tell people you love them. Tell everyone.
I will try to make the world a better place. Just a little bit better. I am pretty insignificant. I will not stop the evils of the world. What I can do is make my small little corner of the world a little better. I will try make small gestures and comments to improve the life of those around me.
I will not let this tragedy blacken my world. Evil, fear, and terror will not win. I will continue to live and celebrate life. I will love and I will live.