As I get older and more secure in my personal values and expectations for the world, I run into this internal conflict between wanting to know more, to understand and analyze why things are happening and what we, as a society, can do to create influence versus wanting to hide in my ignorance. It seems, most recently, that this internal conflict has resinated as I have watched from afar as unbelievable tragedy after unbelievable tragedy hits the neighborhoods of our country. For the first few days of media coverage after the shooting in South Carolina, I hid in my ignorance. I typically don’t watch news broadcasts so my headlines come from social media, I purposely follow several news outlets on Facebook and Instagram so that I have varying levels of opinions and viewpoints guiding my engagement. I saw posts from The Washington Post, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Detroit Free Press and I’m sure other news outlets after it happened but one glimpse into the details of that evening and I chose ignorance. I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth just the same.
If you don’t know me that well you still might know that I am the type of person that needs to understand things. It’s not enough that things are “just the way they are” or that “things happen for a reason”. I need to know why. How. Not the details of the incident itself, while I do find myself wanting to know that as well, my first reaction is to question how did WE, as a society, let this happen? Where did we fail this person in the past? What was the tipping point for this person, what biological factors could have been addressed differently to keep this from happening? See…lots of questions. Sometimes ignorance is easier.
I am not a democrat. I am not a republican. I am a person who believes that each person deserves the right live the best life possible. From the moment of conception we are at the mercy of the world around us, so much is out of our control as human beings, so much trust is required to just survive in our universe. It’s the things that happen to each of us, as independent beings that effect what we see as important – this is what we fight for, what we stand for and what we look for in those that have the power to influence our society. I know very little about the world of politics, I’ve watched The West Wing, I’ve read novels about the world of Washington DC, that same city is one of my absolute favorites, but I know very little about what is happening behind the scenes that inevitability will determine how I live my daily life. Again, ignorance.
The more that I understand what I want from the world, the more that I am stepping away from my vail of ignorance and wanting to know more about how our world works. Because, believe me, if there is something that WE should be doing and promoting to help keep these tragic incidents from happening, I’ll be voting for the person that makes that plan part of their platform for 2016.