Those of us here in Canada are still reeling today after the events in our nation’s capital yesterday. Watching the news this morning, I listened to experts talk about the need for increased security, for tougher laws, for stronger sentences. We are afraid, and want to feel safe.
But in my heart, I know these things don’t address the root of why someone turns against their country or why someone can kill an innocent person.
I don’t know anything about the life of the gunman. But I have questions. I wonder how someone becomes so disconnected from society. Was he a child who had good friendships, or was he an outcast? Did he have adults in his world that cared for him unconditionally and believed in him, or did he feel that it was him against the world? Did his school experience leave him feeling that he was a valuable person who had much to offer or that he was a loser? Was his family accepted and supported in a community, or were they judged and made to feel less than others?
I hear stories every day about communities who want young children expelled from schools because they are trouble-makers and they don’t want their children to have to attend school with them. I see people in the community throw disapproving and nasty looks at other people, or sometimes even say terrible things to people who they judge as inferior, without knowing the first thing about their story.
It’s much easier to blame the government or the police for what happened yesterday. It’s harder to look in the mirror and ask “Are we truly a caring and accepting society?” Perhaps the real solutions are in the ways we treat each other every day. Perhaps it starts with each one of us.