School shooting: Stop blaming everyone and take a hard look at yourself

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It’s time for me to weigh in about the Connecticut shootings and gun control.

I know this topic was so three weeks ago and the American people have shifted their focus to other sensational headlines like the fiscal cliff-hanger or the size of Kim Kardashians ass.

But I have been contemplating this latest killing spree.

GUN CONTROL is as easy to say as SECOND AMENDMENT. And it’s easy to get caught up in the debate.

Should the government step in and mandate for a populous that clutches emphatically to its right to bear arms?

Should everyone just accept the new world disorder and arm up and prepare to fire?

While this is a worthy discussion it does not root out the crux of our problem which is an increasing lack of empathy or regard for the lives of others.

community involvement-1
People are isolated and hurting and need our compassion and support. (Larry Cohen)

We blame video games or violence in the movies or the NRA or working moms or school security any number of other things.

And therein lays the real problem.

In the Shambala secular tradition of meditation there is a practice of applying slogans to the troubles that vex our minds.  The idea is that contemplation of the slogan will lead to the antidote to our troubles.

The slogan that comes to mind here is this:

Drive all blames into one.

Picture your own hand pointing a finger at the responsible party. Now, turn that hand until your finger is pointed squarely at yourself. This is what it means to drive all blames into one.

Instead of spinning our psychic wheels, shouting idyllic platitudes at each other across the great divide between the right and the left, perhaps we can all simmer down and take a moment to think.

After my first knee-jerk and rhetorical reaction to the events, I decided to reflect and to really examine the ways in which I, personally, am responsible for the killings of those kids in Connecticut.

Get involved in the solution. (Dave Frey )
Get involved in the solution. (Dave Frey )

I know this sounds outrageous and if your defensive reactions are kicking into gear about now stay with me.

If everyone and I mean every one of us took a fearless personal inventory then the solutions to our problems will become clear to us.

Stop taking inventory for the other guy. That’s his job. It’s your job to ask yourself:

In what ways do I, personally, contribute to a culture that glorifies our basest and most violent instincts?

How do I support the idea that celebrity is more valuable than integrity?

How do I feed the careless, irresponsible media monster?

In what ways do I make others feel isolated and unimportant?

Who do I judge and reject? (including myself)

How have I contributed to the deterioration of ethics in politics?

What wrongs have I ignored and allowed because I couldn’t be bothered trying to change them?

How have I neglected the people who needed my support?

What do I want and what do I have control over?

What one thing can I do or think differently that could help?

There are a million questions that we will come up if we honestly look for them.

And there are a million ways in which every one of us can shift our behavior with an eye toward shifting the direction of our world.

We’re living in a bad dream because few of us are paying attention (Larry Cohen)

It is important that we don’t ask with the intention of shaming ourselves but with the intention of waking up.

We are living in a bad dream because so few of us are paying attention. We’re sleepwalking.

These questions force us to wake up and to see and feel what is really happening.

Seeing and feeling will motivate us into a different kind of action- an action that is rooted in healing as opposed to hoarding and hiding out.

Of course, we can always move to a “safer” neighborhood, or wear bullet proof vests to work, or remove those people we don’t like, or take self defense disaster preparedness training.

But to prepare for a disaster is to invite it.

No matter where you barricade yourself and your family this nightmare is getting worse and eventually, it will find you and it will touch you. The only way to truly stop it is to wake up.

I’m sure there is a voice in your mind saying, “Not me! I am awake. I am an active whatever. I’m not the problem!”

That’s fine. I just want to suggest something that someone wiser than I said long ago. If you’re not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

There is no need to make a big proclamation of personal change. You don’t have to do anything but think about it. Awareness has a power in itself.

Whenever you want to blame the other guy turn that finger around. What is your own culpability? In what way are you, personally, responsible for what’s happening in your relationship, family, neighborhood, country, or world?

What one thing can you shift to change the circumstance?

While I firmly believe in gun control, self awareness will lead to powerful self control. And that will lead to a much more sustainable change.