Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pain and Peril

Pain and Peril
We are a nation in peril; we are a nation in pain.
I have grown used to the paradox of police presence in my neighborhood--a presence that can be both comforting and discomforting, but needed. Last summer I began to worry about the interactions between the police and the people because I could see that the people were not afraid. I have seen crowds disperse at the first sign of police presence, but I don’t see that as much anymore. I have stood and watched young people stand in defiance. They neither near fear nor respect an officer’s badge.
We are a nation in peril; we are a nation in pain.
Three police officers killed since May and not even in the line of duty, but after work when they should have been able to return to civilian life: Thomas Wortham IV was killed in a robbery attempt in front of his parents’ home. He had recently returned home from a second tour in Iraq. Thor Soderberg gun was taken from him and was used to take his life in broad day light in the parking lot of the police station after ending his shift. Michael R. Bailey, 62, weeks from retirement, was outside washing his retirement gift to himself--a new car, when he was shot.
We are a nation in peril; we are a nation in pain
How do we expect to survive when we will take anyone’s life for anything? When we kill those whose job it is to serve and protect, what hope is there for the rest of us? If we can kill an officer on a dare, shoot an officer with his own weapon, and kill an officer as he waxes his car, how are we living, really? We are living recklessly and it’s scary. People are angry people, and people are in pain. Hearts are bleeding and the blood is running into our streets. What can we do to stop the flow?
We are a nation in peril; we are a nation in pain.
How do we return to a place of respect? Have we trashed our humanity so much that it is as disposable as the paper and plastic goods we use for eating and throw away? We have and always will be imperfect people, but does our humanity have to render us inhumane in our actions toward one another?
We don’t have to live in peril; we don’t have to live in pain.

2 comments:

  1. I agree, I also witness young people stand in defiance with the police. They don't fear anything [Parents,the law or even clergymen].It's sad ,but they don't respect themselves.

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  2. Jen, your mentorJuly 28, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Well articulated, Steph. Perhaps this, (your words) will encourage some much needed dialogue.
    Peace be unto you.

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