I have been thinking about this blog post for a while, waiting to find the right words for what I wanted to convey but they still haven’t come. I am angry but this is tempered by an overwhelming sadness. Once upon a time, I never knew anyone who had gotten shot. The closest thing to crime were my TV shows: Criminal Minds (which I stopped watching because it was too scary and I was having trouble sleeping), Rizzoli and Isles, NCIS, etc.
Despite the statistics which say murders are at a low, it does not feel that way to me. I feels like the monster is gaining no matter how fast I run. In just a matter of months I know two people who have gotten shot, one survived, the other did not. Someone made the decision that their lives did not mean anything. Someone decided they were more like bugs to be squashed underfoot and not human being like themselves. Now two children are fatherless and someone else is trying to adjust to a new life which for now (we hope) means that he does not have the use of his legs.
These stories are not unique, but they do not all make headlines. Who says my story is worth sharing while another’s is not? Talk of big houses and political infighting makes the headlines though.
Why is it so easy to get access to a gun, whether a physical one or a gun for hire?
While men sit in air conditioned offices crunching numbers, negotiating and making deals; numbers are being crunched and negotiations and deals are being made on the street. They say the dollar is no longer overvalued but on the other side, the value of a human life seems to have taken a nose dive.
If we are going to be able to live without fear, we are all going to have to play our part. It cannot just be about the police, or the Security Minister whose ministry feels the need to advertise. We have to decide that we are going to do the right thing. That we are going to be our brothers’ keeper. That we are not going to be afraid. That we are going to report suspicious activity. That we are going to call out those who are doing wrong. That we are going to talk to the young man down the road who seems headed in the wrong direction and try to get him on the right path. That we are going to be satisfied with what we have and if we are not, we are going to go about gaining more through legitimate means only. That we are not going to wash the bloody clothes, hide the guns and let our young boys be couriers and be silent. That we are not going to run away and that if it comes that it, we will have to die trying.
RIP Chris and all the best with your recovery Uncle Freddie.
I start a new job next week. I have worked at the same organization since I started my work life. Leaving is bitter sweet. I made friends there, some of whom left before I did, who have become like family. I have had the privilege to have worked with some really awesome, smart and dedicated people but when it is time, it is time and I think it is time to move on. Time to take on new challenges, to grow and get a bit closer to be being who I want to be and doing what I want to do.
What my experience has taught me is that it is important to be a part of the right team if you are going to do well. Sometimes we do not get to pick our team, we get thrown in and everyone hopes for the best and sometimes it works and well… other times it does not. In either case you just have to make the best of it.
They had a little surprise sendoff party for me at work and it was a bit emotional to hear all the sentiments expressed. Here I am, just trying to make my way through and keep my head above water and others are looking on thinking I am awesome. (I think they are awesome too.) I managed to make it through, being ME. Being my introverted, quirky self and I can say I made it through this phase of my life without losing me. Even though the workplace can be a minefield and it sometimes can be difficult to navigate. As you make your way through trying to not get blown up remember a little smile and a kind word never hurt anybody.