Thursday, February 25, 2010

You Make my Heart Hurt

Since joining Twitter I have become more aware of current events. I visit a wider variety of websites to get my news, which is a direct result of people tweeting links to articles and blogs. This has certainly opened my eyes and my mind to both amazing and horrible things.

Over the past few weeks crime in New Zealand seems to have escalated to an unbearable level. I am not sure if it has always been this bad, or whether I had just not noticed it.

Watching or reading the news makes me so sad that my heart hurts. I do it so that I am aware of what is happening, so I never lose sight of how short and fragile life is.

However, the tipping point for me was when there were three animal cruelty cases within a week. Since then we have had numerous assaults, murders, home invasions, rapes and robberies.

This has got me thinking about what the hell is going wrong with our society. Sure we could blame the recession, the politicians, our own personal circumstances, or childhoods etc. But seriously at what point should we start taking some responsibility for our own reactions to what is going on in our lives?

At some point as we grow up we understand the difference from right or wrong; we know that stealing or hurting others is wrong. My beautiful friend Cate wrote an amazing blog about clearing some of the “emotional junk” that is hanging around.

So please, stop blaming your past and live for today and for the future; I know I need to. Good and bad things happen that help shape us and hopefully make us stronger. If you need help, then ask. If you see someone that needs help, then help them if you are able to. Last week a beautiful 14 year old boy stepped in to help a man that was being beaten.

I am not an expert, but I am a person and have my own thoughts, feelings and opinions. I am not religious although I do believe that there is something bigger than humankind. Is there prescribed plan for us? I do not know.

One thing I do believe is that as children we are consciously or unconsciously taught to suppress negative emotions from an early age. Some people then have no normal way of dealing with anger, hatred, jealously etc. I believe we experience both negative and positive emotions; they make us human. If we can identify the negative emotions and work through them rationally, then surely we would be closer to being more well-rounded people. At least I know I would be.

So there are some questions I have:
Is it about tougher penalties?
Is it about identifying potential offenders, and to help them before something horrible happens?
Is mental illness often not recognised and therefore not dealt with?
Do parents need more support networks to help them, and give them guidance?
Is parenting becoming a bit of a lost art?
Have we forgotten how to respect other living beings and their property?
Are drugs and alcohol being more of a way to “forget” pain, or hardship?
Are some people genetically coded to be evil?

I do not know the answers to these questions. Do you?

We do not live in a war zone; and for the most part we are free from hunger or thirst. So remember we live in an extraordinary country, and I am proud to call New Zealand my home.

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