At first there’s curiosity then there’s shock. The shock turns to sympathy and the sympathy to anger. Anger is a natural reaction to senselessness. I felt it when I read about the warehouse fire in Bangladesh that killed hundreds of workers, and I felt it when I read about the Connecticut shootings. But anger doesn’t solve anything, doesn’t repair what has already been done. Neither does sympathy, even if it is given, even if it is appreciated. After anger comes rationalization. I guess that’s what this is—a feeble attempt to understand an irrational act. How do you rationalize a guy going into an elementary school and shooting kids? He wanted to go out with a bang? Wanted to be remembered as some kind of monster? It’s not the first time children have been made targets, and it probably won’t be the last. To try and pinpoint why these things happen is like running around in circles, some things will never be fully understood.
Other incidences have more direct causes and effects. We rationalize bombings and genocide with war, burning buildings with bad building codes and corporate greed. It makes these tragedies more understandable—easier to pass off. Senseless aggression leaves behind too many unanswered questions and a need to blame something, anything. It’s video games, lack of gun control, music, movies etc.
It’s true that these things may promote violence but let’s face it. Humans have always been violent. Violence has been used in the name of good throughout history. Ancient Spartans used to cast away or enslave unfit, weak children, in order to promote a strong and healthy society. The Crusades justified the slaying of thousands in the name of God. The colonization of North America was cloaked in bloodshed so a more civilized society could rule. Violence is deeply embedded in human nature. Socrates philosophized that a man cannot commit a crime knowingly damning himself—every act is committed with some rationalization, a better good used to justify an end to that particular person’s welfare. For example: you rob someone because you need money, so you commit the crime to better your situation. So where does that leave us?
We deny our tie to violence and aim to pass it off on entertainment or lack of law. Are these things the root of our problem? Guns have been around for a very long time and at one point were more easily accessible than they are today. True they’re more accurate, with more bullets but these are not the causes of a rampage; they are merely tools. Violent entertainment can be dated back to Roman times (and probably before that). Are we too exposed to violence? We read about it in the news, hear it in lyrics, watch it on TV etc. Does this cause our reaction? Or are we too sheltered, the truth always being hidden by something else? Or maybe we’re just too opinionated and this causes people to go nuts—everyone has a “right” and “wrong” for everything. Don’t discipline your child; it’ll cause him to have emotional issues. Or if you don’t discipline him enough he’ll become a trouble maker. It’s all a fine line isn’t it?—a balance that is constantly being thwarted, with everyone seeking a perfect, solve-all answer.
My solve-all is lack of respect. As a society we have no respect for each other, our environment or life itself. We consume with little regret and seek only to satisfy ourselves. Our sense of community is a false one based on terms of success and not the inner workings of an individual. We covet a tool instead of harmony. It’s a sickness and like all sickness spreads; we’re wrapped up in it. But that’s just my opinion. I’m not saying that there isn’t good—there’s a lot of it.
Pregnancy like writing is a waiting game: wait to see if a query will pay off, wait through the the editing process, wait for releases etc. Pregnancy requires waiting for doctor’s appointments, test results and finally labor. By now I thought I’d have established a backlog of patience. I haven’t. I find myself glancing at the calendar and saying, “to hell with it. I want it over now.”
Perhaps it’s a biochemical reaction, this lack of patience, that drives the fear of delivery away from a rational mind. After all what sane person would say, “yes, I think I want to have a 6-8 lbs baby rip through me, thanks?” But I do, I want it to be over. I’m tired of the sleepless nights, hours spent tossing and turning, all too frequent bathroom trips, the weight on my back, swollen hands and feet, heartburn, not being able to fit into my clothes. The list could go on and on. And of course everyone is an expert on how to induce labor (make lasagna, sweep the carpet, go for a long walk etc). Will it work? Time will tell.
So I’ve come up with my own plan because I think the idea of a 12-12-12 baby is pretty cool. It can only happen the first twelve years of every century. I’ll start by giving myself a manicure/pedicure (yes, I can still reach my toes–super proud of that). Then I’ll do a bunch of “strenuous” things like cleaning, walking, dancing, squatting, maybe cooking and hope one of these will do the trick. I’ll even try meditation, something, some where is bound to pay off. There’s always the possibility that nothing will work, I’ll be tired, disappointed and have to wait anyway.