Reach out

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Reach out
7 Min Read

Because they need you to, because it is your duty

We are all shocked when something unspeakable and unexplainable happens. Just a few days, a few weeks ago, someone decided that life was so unbearable they were willing to take extreme action. How does someone reach the point of wanting to end others' lives and likely their own? Is it a depraved mind with no conscience, no feeling or is it someone so disenfranchised and disconnected that could not see any other way to change their unbearable experience? It is difficult to try to explain heinous acts and we generally see them as something that has to be born from evil and nothing else. While this may be the case, the anatomy of a mass murderer is much more complex than that. But do we care to know all the reasons or motivations driving these people to utter destruction?

I actually started counting the number of mass shootings this year and decided to stop... (X)

The plain truth is that we don't really need to know all the "whys" involved. If you were to listen about what is known about these individuals, you would realize they all had things in common. According to an article published by the New York Times on August 6th, 2019 there are blatant commonalities. Those things are the ones we need to pay attention to.

  • Murder (just like suicide) is an act of last resort. Somehow these people (most of them very young and male) lacked the resources or awareness they needed to make a difference in their lives. They all tried but did not work.
  • These individuals felt extreme loneliness. Even if they lived amongst family or friends, they did not feel like they belonged.
  • They did not learn how to weather adversity largely because they were not given a chance to take a breath. They were never taught, and they were never afforded a chance to try. They were told they had no worth by meaningful people in their lives. They were abused and neglected.

Another very sad reality is that most of us, if we were to encounter them any given ordinary day, we would turn the other way. We would think they were simply a bit odd or weird. We would perhaps tell our kids to stay away from them. We would likely talk badly about them and their families. They perhaps look different or act different. So, there is some awareness in our part, something is just not right and yet we are simply indifferent.

What do we do with that uneasy feeling? Nothing.

I am sure you are familiar with the concept of "intervention." There is a series called just that on A&E. Family and friends gather and "confront" someone who has been experiencing substance abuse and/or mental health issues and who undoubtedly is in desperate need of support. It is like a wakeup call.

"Hello! You think you are okay and all that, but you are not, and I am here to tell you just that because I care."

It takes a lot of strength to reach out to someone who may dismiss you and brush you off, someone who may not want to see you again after that encounter. But isn't that the right thing to do? Do you just watch someone drown and take others with or do you take action? Are you okay with letting someone destroy his or her life and in the process, destroy everyone else's hopes and dreams?

It is easy to identify the need for more gun control laws but... is that the easy answer in a very complex problem? (X) Guns have been available for a long time and these massacres are a new phenomenon created by our culture. A culture of division and disconnect. A culture of virtual relationships and intolerance. A culture of hypocrisy.

This day, I urge you to not wait for politicians to do something about our children's safety. By now, it is obvious that is not their priority. As a member of this society, you have a responsibility to assure the safety and wellbeing of our most vulnerable members. Those who are abused and told they are not worthy, those who become the casualty of a negligent society. Don't turn the other way. Z Form is here to help you establish a connection with someone who may need help.