Earlier today I was walking at my local mall while thinking of the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. As I walked around I noticed all the diversity of the other people as they went about their business. It occurred to me that any of them, as well as myself, could be victims of a mass shooting. Everyone at the mall, including me, was just a regular person living their life as best they can. I saw people laughing and shopping and eating and drinking. Some, like me, were just trying to get some exercise.
It also occurred to me that all of us just want to be happy and live peaceful lives. The average person is a good person and most of us have no problem with other people even if they don’t look like us. I have never found other people threatening not have I ever thought I was better than anyone else simply because I am white.
I am getting old and I know I have more years behind me than in front of me. My working days are behind me as well and all I want in life now is to live a simple and uncluttered life. I want to live each day enjoying my music, reading my books, and watching my films. I want to enjoy the sunshine, feel the wind, and enjoy the smell of good food. If I am tired I want to enjoy a good nap. These are all simple things that make me happy. I believe most other people, especially if they are older, also want some version of these things for themselves.
My life has not been without struggle. A lot of things have not gone the way I would have preferred. There were jobs and promotions I did not get. A few women have broken my heart. I am not as great or gifted as I would like to be. However, in spite of life’s disappointments, I am not angry. I really don’t expect everything to go my way. Part of life is experiencing disappointment and loss. Life is not fair. I am still happy and content.
Recently I read a quote from Desmond Tutu that went, “We have got to stop pulling people out of the river. Instead, we need to go upstream and figure out why they keep falling into the river”.
Why are there so many angry people and why are so many of them young, white men? I am an old white man now but I was once a young white man. I never felt left behind or cheated. I have gotten everything in life I deserve. Most of it I have worked for and some of it was given to me through the generosity of others. I never cheated in life and I never had any sense of entitlement. I quickly learned that if I wanted anything in life I would have to work for it.
I have never been in competition with anyone. I want us all to win. I want everyone to be happy. Why is it so difficult for some people to allow other people the same dreams? Who doesn’t want a happy and peaceful life that is relatively free of suffering?
We are all the same. The blood that was spilled in El Paso and Dayton was all red. Everyone who died had someone who loved them.
“All I am saying is give peace a chance“!
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