The new year is usually the time for rebuilding yourself – or “rebranding” yourself if you’re a douchebag. We say that we will change, but most of us end up continuing to make the same poor decisions year after year. It’s quite common, I do the same thing. On January 1st I told myself I would quit soda, yesterday I had Dr. Pepper. For me I can’t change at the turn of a calendar page, I just can’t. There’s nothing behind it – it’s a false start. The only time that I am actually able to make some positive changes in my life is after heart break.
I’ve now been with my wife for *almost* ten years, so I haven’t romantically had my heart broken in quite a while. However, romantic heart break isn’t the only kind out there, folks. Sadly, I get my heartbroken every day, just about.
There has been a school shooting every other school day this year. Seriously.(http://billmoyers.com/2014/01/23/there-has-been-an-average-of-one-school-shooting-every-other-school-day-so-far-this-year/) It’s absolutely heart breaking. Obviously every senseless act of violence is always heart breaking, but the shootings that happen in schools are particularly poisonous to our souls. Schools are full of children, and innocence and teachers and dedication. I have worked in schools and can honestly say that the teachers that go in every day are god damn heroes. For something as idiotic and selfish as a shooting to occur in this place of learning is enough to break our hearts for decades.
These acts, as terrible as they are and as difficult they make it to maintain a sense of normalcy, make me want to be better. After heart break like this you have to – you can’t throw in the towel and say “That’s all I got”. You have to be better. You have to want to be a better person, parent, leader, citizen, teacher, friend, stranger, neighbor, brother, student. But how?
We’re only as knowledgeable as the world makes us – so it’s about time we start with education. Yes, understand that guns are an issue, trust me I get it – but it’s also and issue about education. Most of the world’s problems stem from poor education. Some may be thinking “Wait. What? You think if kids learn math then they won’t shoot?” No. I don’t think that. Education isn’t just about books and calculators. It’s about people. We could be teaching kids empathy and compassion – helping them to understand the feelings of others, their own feelings, handling when others can’t.
That’s what breaks my heart and that is how I deal with it. I imagine a future where we all understand that no one wants to be shot at. Sure, this is very much a rambling of words, but it’s because when you’re heart is broken you lack the emotional power to compile your thoughts in a coherent way. You express you’re feelings with your words and work through it – you don’t buy a gun.