As you undoubtedly saw, ten of my neighbors were murdered last Monday.
The shooting happened at the supermarket where I purchase my pancake mix.
The crime scene is about as close to home as close to home can be.
How do you deal with something like that?
#1 => Keep living, a very British solution to terror.
#2 => With our oldest, we spent the last week repeating simple phrases (Boulder is safe) and answering her questions with simple answers (don’t answer the door, call 911).
#3 => Keep the dialogue open and the answers simple.
What about my internal life? What kind of questions arise when horror makes a visit?
One of the victims, Kevin Mahoney, reminded me of my future self. His daughter shared a tribute, which was a reminder to live so my kids remember me with beautiful thoughts.
While avoidance is an effective coping strategy, any one of us might end up dead for no good reason.
In my senior year at McGill University, 14 women were murdered at another college in Montreal. Canadians made changes that reduced the frequency, and lethality, of their mass shooting events. The Montreal shooting happened seven months after Columbine.
It sounds like Kevin got a chance to say what he wanted to say to his daughter. I’d want my kids to know that a senseless death doesn’t imply a senseless life.
Don’t focus on my death, I want you to live your best life.
What to do?
Big picture, nothing to do with guns, but everything to do with how to act in society…
Ghost the sociopaths.
If I think you are the sort of person who might hurt me, or if this is a situation with a stranger who might have a .357 magnum under his seat, then seek an exit, quietly.
I drive mellow because cars can be dangerous weapons.
I extend my driving habits to all situations.
My first thought, when I heard about Officer Eric Talley’s death, was gratitude that I live in a place where people are willing to walk into gunfire to protect their community. Selfless valor did not happen in Montreal and additional women died as a result.
When it comes to death (and it will come to death for all of us)… saving others is as good as it gets.
I want to thank Eric Talley’s family for supporting his choice to be a police officer.
When my daughter asked me what I thought, I advised her that it’s better to be effective than right. Specifically, my adult life has been about moving towards better.
To my wife, I pointed out that we inherit our opinions from our parents, then our opinions are reinforced by our peers and, as adults, our opinions are strengthened year-after-year by confirmation bias.
What does this mean in practice?
Don’t engage opinion – it’s just an opinion and didn’t belong to the owner to begin with!
Because it is near impossible to change an adult’s opinion, the wise work with children.
If you want to change reality then start with agreement.
We might decide it is a good idea to keep guns away from criminals and the mentally ill. Similar to being in favor of “tax simplification,” I have never met a person who took the other side.
I also note the success of Colorado’s marijuana lobby – they used a simple slogan “treat it like alcohol”. A simple slogan that reached beyond the issue.
Like alcohol, cars kill a lot of people. Cars, alcohol and cigarettes – we’ve been able to move towards better on many issues.
Making my life completely safe isn’t available to me. What I get to choose is where I focus and what I do. Lifetime risk of death is a useful way to reset your emotional state. Daily movement, more veggies, don’t speed and don’t smoke. Click the link to see why.
With violence, address it in myself, so I don’t enhance it in my son.