The picture belongs to me. My daughter and her friends.
I am truly at a loss here. I rarely watch local news. The reason I don’t watch is because it is truly overwhelming. I live in a pretty crappy part of town. I hear the cop cars, I hear gunshots, and I hear ambulance and I see the lights from them and the fire trucks sometimes. This is not every single day. I am thankful for that. I see it enough though. I had several options when I moved here. One was being homeless with a place to stay. My Dad was willing to help me put our stuff in storage and stay with him for a few months. He is 80 years old I could not do that. Well the other option was here. So well here we are. You may personally know me or you may have read my other posts in the past. I have three kids my oldest is on her own now, my youngest is special needs. She has been on dialysis for 8 of her 11 years and her medical condition is complicated and requires a lot of attention and a lot of hospitalizations. I became widowed about 1-1/2 years ago, making me the only one responsible for her needs as well as the bills.
Truly the apartment is great. Better than 4 of the past 5 houses I have rented recently. I live upstairs so I have less fear of people robbing the place. We do have security. I know they are only but so good but it is better than nothing and I believe that most of these shootings seem to be personal of some nature. Maybe it’s drugs? Maybe it is just being poor makes people angry. I know I get angry a lot. My situation can be described as complicating and scary , maybe no education worse people just stop believing that human life does not matter. We see all over social media, hashtag this or that life matters. People jump on the bandwagon, occasionally myself. When these people say this perhaps they mean it but do they. Why is there random shootings occurring every single day in every area all around the country. Why can’t people work things out some other way? Why do they resort to ending another’s life. When did people become so high and mighty on their own high horses and believe they get to choose another person’s last breath? To me this is a time when religious people will find meaning and say it is the time of the end other’s will say well it is our own fault, I say people in my age group, which is mid 40’s. We raised these teens and twenty somethings. For the most part they are the ones running around shooting each other.
When I was younger we fought. I was not much a fighter but had a spat or two. I surely got punched in the mouth for opening it too big and letting the words hurt someone else’s feelings. Eventually we actually became friends but one thing for sure I learned to shut my mouth when it came to stuff like that. Our friends got into fights, they beat the crap out of each other. Every now and again you would hear someone got stabbed and very very rarely did someone get shot. Truth is the few people I knew that got shot was either they shot themselves or someone playing around being stupid. I know a few lives that were lost that way. As sad as that all is it was not vicious. It was not done out of some superiority that they could end the other person’s life. I did not know this but, the other night when my daughter came for a visit. She told me it took forever to get home, something happened and I saw a lot of cops, she tells me. Turns out a cop and guy shootout right down the street. Actually in the parking lot of a local brewery. I am not sure of the outcome. I know someone is no longer here. Just not sure who was the bad guy and who was the one who lost their life. I am sure the details will eventually catch up to me. This is the second type shooting in this particular neighborhood this weekend.
I can’t imagine anyone really want’s to grieve someone they love. Sometimes we have family members who are not our favorite people but they are still ours. Just because Aunt Susie never remembers your birthday or Grandma does not know you are allergic to dairy or Uncle Stan doesn’t remember you don’t eat meat, does not mean you would hope they take a bullet on the way to the grocery store.
I happen to live in a very pretty part of the country, Florida even though I was born in New York and the lifestyle of New York will always be a part of me, Florida has grown on me in many ways. Just the beautiful birds I see regularly. The way Palm Trees wave on a windy day and the crazy Summer thunderstorms. I can’t imagine how you can be in one neighborhood and see the beauty and the next the poverty and run downess of the area.
Take my apartment complex for instance, we have a place to dispose of garbage. We don’t have to wait for pick up twice a week. For me this is a bonus run down to the dumpster several times a day if need be. This is also a compactor so most of the time there is not an issue of it being full. Why do the people who live here throw trash on the floor? Why do they open their car door and let crap fall out and don’t bother to pick it up? Why are their fry containers sitting on the stairs. Well because the people who live here do not care. They have lost pride in the place they call home and live among people who have given up on caring.That is assuming they cared in the first place. I guess these are the same people who are slowly but surely joining this group of No Lives Matter.
In this world where it seems more and more the No Lives matter group is growing. The youth of today is not being taught that life is precious. They are not being taught to respect the differences of other people and to embrace that there is interesting things to learn from someone else who is different than yourself. They are not being taught that just because something is not going your way, does not mean you end another person’s life. Even in the big bad world of drugs, it should be simple if you have money to buy drugs , well buy them. What would make a drug dealer think that they can loan a drug addict drugs and that person is actually going to pay them back. Reality check, you lost that money! Why kill the person who did not pay you, they did not have money when they were looking for the drugs what would a few hour binge do to bring in steady income, and clearly their drug habit is already ruining their life. Why think that you want something taking it by force is the way to go? I don’t really don’t think so. When did people stop teaching their children to work hard. That if they want something they should earn it. When did hard work become something only people of the past had to do. When did this lowlife way of thinking take over. I am not sure of the particulars. I don’t get involved in this debate over guns being legal. Criminals do not give a crap about legal so to me the fight is a waste of energy. Criminals will always have guns.
(this is the only paragraph where I added a little detail to my thought and changed a sentence or two)
I think if parents would go back to teaching their young children to love and respect themselves, to love and respect others, that would be our only chance in making progress. When people learn to work through their problems, instead of blasting the neighbor in the head with a bullet, because they stole your parking spot, or some of frivolous problem that should not result in loss of life.
I was taught to talk to people. If there is a problem try your best to talk it out. Yes, you might get punched in the face but well it’s a punch you will live through it. In life there are many many lessons to be learned. I continue to learn everyday. I spend an enormous time in the hospital. I see cops outside of kids rooms, I see gunshots victims in the pediatric area. I see abuse and I see actual disease. These are things your eyes can never forget once you see them. If every person had to spend one month living the life of someone that used to be healthy and now they took a bullet to the spine and they can no longer walk, no longer hold their urine or bowels,maybe they can no longer communicate? Then maybe they would understand that All Lives matter. The same tough guy with a gun will be reduced when experiencing the other end, the actual outcome of all those gunshots. How about a day in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. How about a few hours watching a family and a team of medical professionals try to save the life of a 1 lb baby that’s insides were born on the outside instead. Maybe then they would see just how precious life is? Or would they still go out and blast someone because maybe they had a warrant and did not feeling like dealing with whatever trouble they found themselves in previously.
People who need a gun in order to protect themselves to go to the grocery store, really don’t need protection. They are afraid to fight for themselves, as my Dad would say they are cowards. (he taught us girls never be a victim, don’t walk around like a victim and you won’t be a victim, if something bad happens it’s a bad event and we will figure out a way to deal with it) (My Dad is the Greatest!) so they take a gun, just in case someone upsets them or frightens them they can shoot. These people don’t care about at all the other people affected by their way of being. When they shoot someone, they are not thinking how it is affecting that person’s Grandma, or best friend, or any other person that surely someone really loves that person, even if they did something to piss you(No Lives Matter-person) off.
I just watched a video from a Pastor, I think his name may have been Greg Locke? but I could not be for certain. I will share that I am not Christian. I have nothing against this religion I am just not it. I happened to agree with about 95% of what he had to say. He started it with exactly what I am writing about and it was so random that I saw this video. I was scrolling through Facebook hanging out with my Brother In Law we were chatting and we started talking about the recent shooting, truthfully I still had and have no clue as to what actually transpired. I did however, have this conversation. I told him I am writing an article about just that. He said watch this video I put up. So I started it and stopped right away to show him where I was so far, to show him I am on the exact same page as this guy, how random and cool is that. On the other hand it should be on the minds of everyone.
Our country is mixed up of all kinds. We are simply Americans. Until we give up being hyphenated Americans this will not change. Funny I will tell you what my family is made up of and I will not , do not and will not ever change them nor refer to them as anything other than family and Americans. So basically my heritage is European, My father’s side is mostly Hungarian, My Mother’s side Russian and Polish. My first husband’s Father, I am almost certain was From the Bahama’s but I could be wrong it is an island though for sure. His mother’s was West Indian and I am almost certain her family may have been Mexican. I don’t know the exacts but my parents were born in the United States, His parents were born here also, some of my Grandparents were born here the others came here in the early 1900’s. I am pretty sure the same for him. My second Husband was half Puerto Rican and half Italian. His mother was from Puerto Rico, not sure about her parents. His Father was born here and don’t know anything about his parents. So we have white,black, spanish and mixed, family members. My nephew’s father is from Russia came to the United States in the 90’s. I know my family is mixed up. If I start throwing in religions you will see just how mixed up we truly are. We have Jewish, Catholic, Christian, Jehovah’s Witness, Atheists and probably more that I don’t know about.
Truly we are all Americans. We don’t talk about white Aunt so and so or Black Uncle so and so, We don’t mention any of it unless we are trying to actually describe someone to someone else who does not know us. We are not hyphenated Americans. Our white side does not refer to themselves as European-American, Jewish-American, Russian-American. We are simply Americans. Our Black side does not refer to themselves as African-Americans, They don’t refer to themselves as Christian-Americans they are simply Americans. Our families had nothing in common until I brought us together. Divorced, 17 years passed and we are still family. We still talk to each other and refer each other as family. My second husband’s family is different. They don’t mention their Italian side very often, they don’t refer to themselves as anything other than Puerto Rican.Some of them do have American pride but not all of them. I always used to tell my husband you were born here you are an American. Have you been to Puerto Rico(yes when he was 2 or 3) not enough, you were born and raised here. You are an American. Yes his family came here more recently so maybe that is why they are more that way. I am not really sure. I don’t raise our daughter that way. She is American. All three of my children are mixed in some way. My two oldest are from my first husband and my youngest is from my second. Just because they are mixed does not change the fact that they are American.
I fuss with my oldest daughter all the time because she always wants to tell me something about White People, Always bringing up race cards that to me don’t exist(logically I know they exist I just choose not to let it be part of my world). If you choose to allow this to exist in your world that is your business but not in my home. I know we have differences. That is what makes the world not so boring. We are all different, even with all of our similarities. Reality is we all bleed the same. We all shit the same and we all breathe the same. There maybe be other issues that we face. I know a Black man will face certain things in his lifetime that will be specific to his struggle. I know a Jewish man will too face certain thing in his lifetime that will be specific to his struggle and so on, we could go through every nationality and religion and find these specific struggles to that ethnicity. That is not supposed to separate people, if anything it should bring them together. This battle of separating ourselves from one another due to races and religion is pure foolishness.I will admit it is reasonable if you went to another country, you would try to find people that were similar to yourself to maybe you would not stand out or you would find some comfort zone. But in today’s age that is more of a problem than a solution. Don’t most of your religions preach peace? Don’t most Pastors, and Priests and Rabbis , etc, teach peace. Do they not teach you the 10 commandments? As far as I know religion is supposed to be a moral compass. It is supposed to guide you into spirituality and guide you to follow the laws of the land. We are not supposed to lie, cheat, steal and murder. Ending another’s life should never be our call. I was brought into this world with only one certainty and that is I will die. I started the process of dying the moment I came into this world. Who gives another a right to decide when that process ends for me or you for that matter.
I could only hope and dream that people start teaching their children to respect one another. Teach them to work through problems. Teach them that although we all have differences there is something worth knowing about in all people. Me, being the person who forever finds good in people even when they are bad, still finds a way to teach it to my children. They argue with people just like anyone else but they never resort to any violence unless that was their last resort.If they have to resort to fighting then I expect they don’t stay hit, but I surely teach them to use their brains first. I know I can only teach my children but so much. I know that the older they get the more they will have to make these decisions about life and people on their own. I only hope the things I tried to instill worked. I stop them when they try to bring up race card, unless of course they are telling a story and that is the only way to describe. I am one with a crazy sense of humor so surely my children tell stories as crazy as I do. My children can tell me anything and everything but they have learned what I won’t listen too, I can’t stand hearing racial type comments from my children you can’t allow it from your children or they will become more of the problem. I tell them you can’t listen to some politician to say Make America Great you have to be proud to be an American and you have to make it great. Until then I can only hope that will people will not only jump on the bandwagon( and actually do something not just on social media)and start living a life where- All Lives Matter!
This article has been edited. A comment made me self-conscious so I made a little change in wording and hope it reads better and more to the point- If you read my blog you already know focus is not my strong point!