If you have read any of my blogs so far, I hope they leave you feeling uplifted and empowered!
I am sure you are aware of the recent mass shooting that took place on a high school campus down in Parkland, Florida last month that left seventeen people dead and many others injured physically and scarred emotionally. I assure you this blog is not going to retell what happened, we'll leave that to the news outlets.
Instead, I want to explore the question of, 'What is the root cause for these mass killings?' Do you think it is solely the guns? I must say I do agree that guns do cause extensive damage rather quickly; but is it the root cause?
I believe the answer to that question goes beyond the President, law makers, the NRA, or mental health claims. I know all to well from personal experience that there is a deep and overwhelming need in the hearts of all of us, especially our youth, to know the answers to these questions---
Who am I?
Why was I born?
Am I valuable or worthy of love and acceptance?
Where am I from?
What is my purpose?
As a child, I did a good job at acting like everything was fine until my body started acting up and seized in a panic attack, putting me into a complete prostrate position on my desk at school. I was eight years old. The school nurse tried her best to ask the 'right' questions to find the cause of why this happened to a strong and healthy child. I was told I would get in trouble if I spoke of 'private family matters' to anyone outside of our circle. So I said nothing about the constant physical and verbal abuse at home, at school and in the streets by bullies.
Being an honor roll student, coming from a upper middle class two parent household, athlete, and always respectful to others---it was hard for those on the outside to see signs that I was reaching a tipping point. It started small with spurts of violence that caused physical and emotional damage to the victim. That victim was first me, having internalized feelings of hurts mixed with thoughts and beliefs that I wasn't valuable because of the constant abuse I was experiencing.
When we were children, we looked to our parents/guardians and those closest to us, to teach us our value and aid us in answering these five questions:
1. Who am I?
2. Why was I born?
3. Am I valuable or worthy of love and acceptance?
4. Where am I from?
5. What is my purpose?
Do you know the answer to all of those questions?
See, when we believe that we have no purpose, it leaves us with no hope. Where there is no hope, it opens the door to self inflicted addictive and abusive behavior that will transcend to causing other people pain as well.
These cases of mass shootings in this country started first with someone who's thoughts were hijacked with non life giving answers to those five questions listed above.
At the end of the day, it's one human being trying to prove to another they are worthy of attention, love, acceptance, and purpose.
This is called the issues of the heart that must meet reslove through answering those five questions with life giving TRUTH base answers that will restore the brokeness of that human spirit. It is there our conversation and work begins.
Trailblazers, don't feel overwhelmed to try to help EVERYONE that seems burdened or offended. You must first focus on yourself. Answer those five questions for yourself first. You will then find yourself being more capable to aid and affect change at home with your family and friends; at work; at church; at our schools; and in our communities.