I feel extremely blessed as I write this and I’ll tell you why…
I dropped my daughter off at school today (she’s in 2nd grade). And I got to pick her up. And we went to the beach and then I took her to gymnastics and then we came home and I just tucked her in bed before sitting down to write this.
As blessed as I feel, I also feel like it’s unfair. Why did I deserve to pick my daughter up from school today when 19 parents/caregivers in Uvalde, Texas couldn't? They dropped their kids off and never got to pick them up because they died in another senseless act of violence where a kid murders a building full of other kids for no reason at all.
Right now, I’m examining my impulses…
I want to jump on social media and shout into my squeaky little digital bullhorn. I want to type in all caps, “TAKE ALL OF THE FUCKING GUNS.” I want to lash out at people who I think are the cause of this growing infestation of armed violence in this country. I want to make them release their death grip on these weapons of mass destruction that should only be in the hands of the military but that any schmoe can get their hands on.
I want to attack. I want to take this collective violence we feel, ball it up, and throw it at the people I feel are in the wrong. I want to strangle them with their own guns that they cling so tightly to.
I. Want. Revenge.
No shit. It’s real right now.
But, man… I have to breathe. And I hope you can breathe too.
What we’re feeling is an ancient ancestral impulse. A tribal impulse to create rivals and kill. Eye for an eye, baby. Let’s get ’em. Light the torches. Grab the pitchforks. And let’s go.
That’s where I am as I type these words. If you came by my house right now, you may just convince me to join you.
But as I breathe, I see the dynamic that’s playing out.
“We are relational beings before we are rational beings.”
— Fr. James Alison
I am not living from a rational place right now. And neither is anyone. That’s because, as Fr. Alison so aptly points out, we are relational beings before we are rational beings. It’s hard-wired in us.
When shit hits the fan like it did today (and the other day in Buffalo, NY, and countless other days in our recent history), our first primal impulse is to want…