One of the first rules in marketing is to NOT use a word that puts people on edge. With the title of this post I have violated that rule. I make no apologies and trust my readers are mature enough to continue reading. This series is about turning the ordinary into the extraordinary and while we will explore over two hundred ways to make that happen before its conclusion, I would be remiss if I did not point out the easiest way to make that happen – Be responsible.
In number thirteen of this series we discussed some of the ways we can live responsibly. That post was entitled “ ‘R’ You Ready?” and, as you might recall, discussed ways to live responsibly by recycling, repairing, reusing, and reserving. Let me add another ‘R’ word – remember.
I could have titled this piece Remember. That would attracted more attention but I think, to be true to you the reader, I needed to be honest. I don’t what to take you down a nostalgic path on memory lane to a lovely time in your childhood or teen years. I neither am not extolling the good old days nor the virtue of a period long forgotten.
I want you to remember the value of your life. Hopefully you feel your life has matter because it definitely does. All lives matter. There is nothing so precious or fragile as the life of a human being. We all enter this world through incredibly similar means, whether with the help of medical personnel or with only family present. Whether it be by natural process or surgical means, the birth of a human being varies little age to age, culture to culture, religion to religion or absence thereof, economic status having no bearing.
While there are various means of dying, we all go through a similar reverse process when our life ceases. In our birth and our death, we become equal and no one is better than another. Yesterday’s funeral of Muhammed Ali proves my point. It was attended by people of all races, socio-economic status, creed, age, economic strata, and color. The legacy of this man who called himself “The Greatest” is that all could and did relate to his living and his words. A black Muslim, Ali called a much smaller Caucasian Jewish man his “Little Brother”.
Ali knew that truly we all are brothers and sisters. Because of that, we all must live in a responsible manner. Last night a concert was held in Florida and it ended with an autograph signing session where concert goers could get up close, personal, and meet the performing artists. Sadly, because of the irresponsible actions of one attendee, the evening ended in death.
The shooter’s name has not, as of this posting, been released. His name is not really the issue, though. His actions are. This man, for whatever reason, felt he had the right to irresponsible gun ownership and behavior. He joins hundreds by doing this and adds to the tally of deaths at the hands of such people.
It is considered one of the basic freedoms granted in the United States Constitution to bear arms. It was written immediately after the small group of colonies had defeated their mother country, a defeat many felt was made possible because the colonists were armed. Early colonial life meant everyone was responsible for obtaining their own food. The only grocery stores were found in nature and the kitchen garden or farm. Carnivores hunted and killed animals for their meat.
Today, this right has negated the basic right of life for the victims of those whose mental capacity negates their ability to responsibly own a firearm. The gun lobby protests changing or limiting gun ownership, saying it would put basic democracy at risk. There are no easy answers other than for all of us to be responsible.
I do not know why this man felt he needed a twenty-two year-old singer from New Jersey to be his target. A woman of faith, a professed Christian, would have made her a target in some countries but, again the Constitution guaranteed a right to her faith. It guarantees everyone a right to their faith, providing said faith is really a faith and not mental instability or simply a quest for uncontrollable power.
I know of no country that guarantees its citizens to right to stand in front of a speeding train but apparently standing in front of a speeding bullet makes sense to many gun owners. We are not calling for the elimination of trains; we employ safety measures to ensure everyone’s safety. We can do better than just sit and watch more innocent people die. We can and need to be responsible in our living.