I was going to write about seaxes on request today but I found I'm not really ready to write about weapons yet, not in this space. I write about weapons and killing enough in my fiction--Draken lives in a brutal world, so what are you going to do? But then, so do we. Maybe it's how I come to grips with it. I'm not sure.
I'm distressed at the gun talk, the anti-gun talk, the demands that something be done, the further polarization. Someone just proclaimed that they want the "gun nuts" to announce themselves so he can delete them as friends from Facebook. With all respect, isn't that what polarization is? Isn't that precisely the sort of intolerance that will divide the nation and bring us down? I believe it is. I did it during the political season a few times and regret it now. I'm a centrist in most things and empathy is my curse. I understand most folks even when I don't agree with them.
But the very best thing that has made me grow as a person is all the other people in my life, from my family to the wonderful oddlings I meet at SF cons to writers who think they're weird (and are--brilliantly so!) to my unlikely friends. I love you, all of you, even if I don't see you much anymore. The only thing I'm left with is love.
I am utterly convinced that if someone besides this boy's mother had loved him and tried to understand him, if he had felt more acceptance than fear and resentment in his life, those children and teachers would be alive. Practice acceptance. Practice understanding.
If you can, spend a little time loving not only the people you already do, but some of the people you might not ordinarily. Take some time to appreciate something about everyone you meet. Give people the benefit of the doubt, whether they're cutting you off in traffic or whether they're just off. Times are hard. Emotions are raw. Children have died. The holes in the ground have left much bigger ones in our hearts.
I could use a dose of this advice myself, and I intend to do my best to take it.