I had my first car accident at 15, a few months after I got my license. An elderly man ran a red light and hit me in my mom’s car near the front passenger side.
I remember the fear and dread that came over me as I watched the car come toward me as what seemed to be in slow motion. At impact, I didn’t know what to think, but I felt a loss of breath and began looking for someone to help me.
Thankfully the accident happened at the corner near my mom’s job. Without thinking, I ran into her workplace screaming and frantic. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn.
After I entered her workplace, I think I blacked out because I don’t recall what happened next. That trauma has stayed with me for all these years. I am thankful that I was not physically hurt, but as you can see, I remember the horror of the experience.
I cannot imagine the aftermath experiences of the families of the El Paso and Dayton shootings. We never discuss post-trauma concern when these events occur in our country. Why are there more conversations about the mental states of the terrorists and not about the impact the killings have on the families and friends of the victims and survivors?
I do not care about political parties arguing about fault. I do not care about how the killers were raised and their childhood experiences. Though their experiences may have been adverse, those who were inhumanely gunned down now have families who have to live with their family members not being in their lives ever again.
I don’t know why I continue to be amazed by these outcomes, but I am. I believe that being amazed and saddened means that I have not been desensitized to what is occurring in our communities. I care enough to do what I can to ensure that people who have been hurt have resources to get help for the pain.
All of these terrorists have allegedly given indicators that could have led to them getting some help and prevented these heinous acts. But enough about them.
To date, 31 families (and many more when you count the 250 shootings this year) have been affected by senseless terrorism. Unfortunately, the same media the killers receive is not what the relatives experience. They are forgotten once the cameras stop reporting the stories, but the pain continues.
What I cannot forget is that pain does subside with some time, but it does not go away. Those victims will not return to their families on this side of heaven. Their families will only have pictures to view, recordings to listen to and memories to share. And yet, we spend more time highlighting the hate in our country than we do on learning to love and live on one accord.
As I walk along the road of life, I notice how people hate because of the experiences of others or from the fears that are created based on peoples’ mounting ignorance and lack of understanding.
Don’t hate me because of a rumor or because of generalization. Determine a proper emotion based on your personal experience with me.
Sadly, in today’s world, I may be hated simply because the God you said you love, and worship gave me a different shade of skin than you.
I’m not going to say that we need to have a “kumbaya” moment and declare we have to get along or be kinder.
What I will say is this: Don’t wear shades of ignorance. Remove those shades and look at people through a lens of humanity.