Saturday, December 22, 2012

We Have Nothing to Fear but Everything.

Last night I had the biggest AHA moment of my life. I was texting a friend that went to Weber State with me a few years ago. He is from Canada and after school he moved back home. We were talking about the recent Sandy Hook shooting. I asked him if it was a big news story in Canada. He said it wasn't as big as it was here but they did broadcast it. I started to tell him how the media screwed all their facts up and and kept changing the story. He said "what do you mean?" "Like how many people died, who the shooter was, things like that." "Why is that important?" "Well...good question." "Here, they just talked about how courageous the teachers were and what a loss it was to lose so many lives and how sad the parents must be and that was it." "So nothing about gun control came up?" "No. Why would it?" "Well aren't people scared about going to school not armed and going into a movie theater not armed?" "Are you talking about the movie theater thing in Colorado now?" "yeah." "I never really thought about that." "Why not?" "I own 7 guns, but I don't feel the need to take one to a theater or to school. Hell, everyone here leaves their doors unlocked." 

During this exchange, I found Michael Moore's Documentary "Bowling for Columbine." It was at the part where Moore is interviewing Marylin Manson. People were protesting about Manson performing in Colorado because he has many songs that discuss violence, and the shooters at Columbine High School frequently listened to Manson. Manson discussed that the media and the government consistently put fear into the American people. If you don't get that car you aren't cool. If you have acne you won't get a girlfriend. If you don't buy Colgate people won't talk to you. And that's when my AHA moment came. 

Don't send your kids trick-or-treating on Halloween, they'll be kidnapped. Don't eat that or you'll become morbidly obese. If you don't bring a gun with you everywhere you'll be killed. If you drive a car, you'll be killed by a drunk driver. Don't smoke that it causes cancer. Don't drink that, it causes cancer. Don't live there, gangs are there. Don't love that person or you'll go to hell. If you are a Democrat you mooch off the government. If you are a Republican, you are narrow-minded.If you are a black person you shouldn't trust a white person. If you are a white person you shouldn't trust a black person.

We are in a constant state of fear and fighting. We have the War on Drugs, War on Terrorism, War on Cancer, War on Gangs. 

Mother Theresa said, "Do not invite me to an Anti-War rally. I will not attend. Invite me to a Peace rally. I will come." If you fight something, the thing that you are fighting grows stronger. 

What if we changed our way of thinking? What if we started being more positive than negative? What if we had Pro-Peace organizations? What if we had Pro-Cure races instead of the Race Against Cancer? What if we only used positive words? What if the media and the government wasn't allowed to scare us? What if we turned on the news and just for one day, the news was only allowed to report positive things? What if we stopped saying "I can't"? "I can't it's too expensive." "I can't, they won't let me." "I can't, it's impossible." What if for one day, The entire world said "I can."

My friend in Canada told me, his family looks forward to the news. Most of the time the news in their city reports on good things. Yes, sometimes there is a sad story but most of the time it is good. He said "Americans are the only people that have a 'pay it forward' attitude. You guys are the only culture that thinks it's a big deal to do a good deed. Here, it's just an everyday thing. We just do it." 

I asked my friend more about Canadians and guns. He said EVERYONE he knows has AT LEAST one gun. So you would think, Canada must have alot of gun crimes right? In 2011 Canada had 144 murders by firearm. The United States? 9,369. Another interesting thing. When there is a murder in Canada, the news reports on only the victim. Here, we do a one-hour special of the shooter. In Canada, they want to help the suspect by rehabilitating the suspect. They think, "There must be a mental illness let's take care of them." In America? The second we hear about a shooting we scream DEATH PENALTY. GUN CONTROL. VIOLENCE IN MEDIA. What is wrong with us?

So yesterday was "supposed to be the end of the world", that worked out well. I took it was an opportunity to start new. I will no longer watch news programs or read it online. You may say "well that's ignorance, you need to be informed."  Informed, maybe. Inundated? No. Notice, the people who are always happy, extremely successful, and just have all the luck, are always surrounded by positive people and things. 

I'm not saying that I am right and if you think different you are wrong. I am not saying that Canada is better than America. I am not saying that I hate to live here. I am just saying that, like everywhere else, we can improve. And before we go blaming someone or something else on our problems, we should take some accountability in our actions. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas, and lets' start being better people.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Ari!! You have such a great way of seeing things and expressing how positive you are and always giving so much to others! Holly