2018-03-20 / Opinion

“We have met the enemy and he is us”

I know, you’re thinking “Another opinion, that’s all we need”. You may be right but here I go anyway. On Feb. 14, 2018, Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday together - sounds perfect doesn’t it? Well that perfect picture was ripped apart with the horrible news of an active shooter in a school in Florida. The day we celebrate love and the sacrifice of Jesus, evil leaps in to destroy everything. Speechless, confused.

As we turn our eyes to the news media in disbelief our brains try valiantly to understand. There is no understanding. We slowly start to feel that familiar “hollow pit” emptiness growing in our hearts. The all too familiar feeling that we have been brought back to a place we never wanted to go to in the first place, despair. Turn it off …. I don’t want to know. Well, turning it off doesn’t make it go away, it doesn’t make it better. It’s here, it’s real.

Almost if on cue, politicians – news media – activists and religious leaders descend upon the scene, facts still unknown, bodies still warm. They start spouting the rhetoric that they do every time there’s an event like this. Politician’s trying to entice voters spew whatever they think the public wants to hear. Activists immediately jump on their soapboxes advocating gun control. Religious leaders begin to preach the virtues of a Biblical lifestyle. All of them have good intentions, some are buried more deeply than others and some are done purely for PR value.

Will any of these explanations, recommendations or guilt trips do anything to make a measurable difference? Is any one of them the “magic pill” that will make it all better? No. I believe there is only one thing that will “fix” this, and that’s us. Us, we the people need to first stop, take stock of where we are and decide if we really want to continue down this road. The road I’m referring to is self-destruction as a society.

It seems that as a society we have been gradually drifting away from the principles that this country was founded on and that have carried us forward for so many years. We began this “drifting” in very tiny increments, just trying to make things better, fair. As time marched on we kept tampering with the recipe, thinking ourselves more enlightened. We knew we could make things better, so we continued to adjust …just a little at a time, hardly noticeable. Society, life itself is built on time, the long haul. As technology progresses, our attention span shortens. We expect immediate results. Well, society does not work that way. Society can’t change on a whim, a current trend or political correctness. It takes time, time for society as a whole to adjust.

Our expectation of immediate results is causing confusion. We have nothing we can depend on anymore. Economy, racial division, sexual confusion, the list goes on and on. Families fall apart. Young people struggling to grow, fit in and make sense of this world are fighting a losing battle. They need consistency to develop to learn. We offer them nothing but a moving target an unattainable goal. It’s no wonder unspeakable evil like this happens, we have failed our children, failed ourselves. In our grand and marvelous campaign to make this world safe, fair, all we have succeeded in doing is showing our children a world of increasing division, tribalism. Far from fairness and unity we have created just the opposite.

The big question is: Are you big enough to swallow your pride, admit that you are wrong and stop careening down this road to oblivion? It’s time, it’s long past time. Stop, turn the car off, get out and look around …. we are lost. Back up, start over. It won’t be easy; it won’t be quick but it will be worth it. The alternative is …..

“We have met the enemy and he is us” - POGO

Michael Martin

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