A Letter to Society

Dear Society:

I’ve had enough of you and everyone who is giving this era a bad rep.

I’m sick of the senseless violence. I’m sick of the hatred. I’m sick of the racism. I’m sick of the police brutality. I’m sick of the riots. I’m sick of people not respecting others’ differences. I’m sick of the finger pointing.

I used to think that terrorism and massacres were something that only happened in foreign countries or big cities.

I used to think our biggest problem WAS terrorism.

But now, it seems more like we are at war with ourselves.

Today, I turned on the TV and saw something that hit close to home.

In Menasha, WI, a man shot 4 people on the Trestle Trail bridge before turning the gun on himself. It was an unprovoked attack; a random act of violence. Three of the victims included an innocent family taking a walk together on a warm, beautiful spring day. The 11-year old daughter and husband were killed. The mother herself was shot 3 times, but still managed to protect and save her two other children by getting them off the bridge and telling them to go get help. She is currently hospitalized in serious condition.

Her husband’s last words to her were, “Forgive the shooter.”

Senseless violence. Young lives wasted. A family torn. A family at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Today I learned, this kind of thing can happen anywhere. Any state. Any small town. Anywhere, USA.

We really can never be sure that we are going to be protected and safe. We can’t even go for a nice stroll through the park; we can’t even watch a movie in peace at the theater; we can’t be guaranteed safety running a marathon; hell, we can’t even be assured our children will be safe when they walk though their school doors. We can never be sure that some deranged person won’t cross our paths and destroy our families and lives forever.

Society, I want to believe you are capable of positive change. I don’t even know where the first step is to make some positive change. Although there are so many horrific things happening in the world, I don’t forget or take for granted the wonderful people that make you strong and unified. Our military. Our police officers. Our EMS. Our firefighters. Those who serve selflessly who may not come home to their families at night.

We can do everything possible in our power to raise mental health awareness, be aware of our own surroundings, and have guns by our side in case of an emergency. But how do you catch a maddened man who in the heat of the moment grabs his guns and shoots up a park?

We are helpless.

And that saddens me, and scares me.

The only things we can do is to RESPECT other’s differences, be KIND and to LOVE each other. Seek HELP if you are depressed or suicidal.

But I can’t help you or anyone do that.

You have to help yourself.

Society, I’m not going to be scared to live my life because of a few people who ruin the fun for everyone. I’m going to live my life to the fullest, not take a second for granted, and hold my loved ones close. I’m going to be appreciative for every breath on this earth and thank the Lord daily for my life.

What is becoming of you, society?

#BlackLivesMatter #WhiteLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter #ALLLIVESMATTER

This post is dedicated to the victims of the Trestle Trail bridge shooting that occurred on May 2nd in Menasha, WI; 32-year old Jonathan Stoffel, 11-year old Olivia Stoffel, and 31-year old Adam Bentdahl. Thoughts and prayers are also with Erin Stoffel during this difficult time.

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