January 9, 2011 A sad day for all Americans
Yesterday an event in Tucson, AZ must serve as a wake up call to all of us, what you sow, you will reap! Words have meaning. I know in our fast moving, thump twitching society, words are treated as unimportant. Communications has become a game to be played but without really valuing the written or spoken word. But words do still have meaning. And when we use them, we should think long and hard about what messages we are sending out. We need to think about the mental pictures of our words.
Words have always been important in politics. They stir emotions, they paint pictures for people. Good people have always been careful how they use words. Our presidents words are remembered for all of history. Media people are listened to by millions and they used to be very careful of the words that they used in giving reports.
But for some time now, playing with words has become a game, a we win – you lose game. Running our country is NOT a football game. It is not a matter of we win, you lose because we all must live together and prosper and fail together. People have not been careful of the emotions that they create using words, they have nor been socially responsible for the ultimate pictures that they are creating with words. Rhetoric has been becoming more violent and careless.
Yesterday, we began to pay the price of this carelessness. Nine people died, others injured. A mentally unstable person took a gun and decided to change his world and he changed ours along with it. And while many high profile – people, politicians, want to be politicians, the news media – must take the major blame, we all share in taking responsibility. We allowed the use of words in an inflammatory manner to continue. How many times did we say, no? How many times did we stand up and say this is not okay? How many times did we write the media and tell them that we wouldn’t watch their shows any longer? We stood by. Oh, yes some of us sometimes made comments but not enough.
What shocked me was that the man who lost the election could not see or understand where his campaign ‘fundraiser’ could be viewed as contributing to the problem. I guess that the people in that district are darn lucky that someone with so little understanding wasn’t elected because one has to wonder about what else he wouldn’t understand! And the people who say that they said 2nd amendment rights but didn’t really mean it this way. I have to ask, what did they mean? What were they really saying? How can people understand what you are for if your words don’t mean now what they did earlier?
Words! They are our friends and can hurt us and they ARE very, very important. And we must look and judge people by how they use them.
A sad, cold day in Knife River.