Uncomfortably Numb


A few hours before a gunman robbed twenty innocent kids off their future, I was reading about the difference between empathy and sympathy. I did not know my learning would be put to test so soon. Regardless, I seem to have failed in that exam. It has been a week since the incident and I am still looking for the right bucket to categorize my feelings, fears, agony and tears. I don’t have kids but I have nieces and nephews who are as old as the devout souls who witnessed and in some cases were victimized by the horror in Newtown, CT.

I have waited for a long time to write down my thoughts on this. And let me begin by saying, I am not interested in talking about gun policy or mental health policy. I have had enough of these debates that cloud the mind of the common man. I have been patiently reading and listening to all that the media and politicians have had to say about this in their effort to politicize this massacre. I have just one reminder for them. When you point a finger towards someone, the remaining three fingers are pointing at you. Yes the gun policy is flawed. Yes the mental health policies are insufficient. But what about you, the common man, who goes and buys these guns in the first place, in pretense of self defense? What about the disparity between the rich and poor that is creeping up on the American society, and causing mental derangement in youth who do not know where they belong and how to make a place for themselves in this polarized world? Who do you think is responsible for weaving the fabric of this flawed and fragmented society?

I am not capable of sharing my opinion on what happened. I am just shattered. My mind is numb on that topic.The weekend was especially tough for me. I kept thinking of the horror frozen in the eyes of the kids that were at the site of the carnage. I wondered what the parents around the world are thinking. And more importantly, what am I to do now? I am not afraid to die. I am just afraid of what the world has become. I assumed I lived in a trustworthy and tolerant society. It is one of the reasons I choose to live in the US. Look what has happened – my dreams are shattered. I cannot be sure that my kids won’t be a target of such hostility in the future. I know there is no guarantee in life. But for a moment, think from my perspective – I thought I did my bit to ensure a secure future for my offspring. I have been proven wrong.

I did not want to write about this topic because I was afraid that all that would come out of me will be pure emotion. Bravo to the people who can actually put their emotions aside and write about the right thing to do here and the right policy to adopt. I am not one of them. I am just too weak for all that. But what I can do is pledge that I will do my bit to make this society more tolerant. Don’t ask me for a five bullet plan. I don’t have one. Just reflect on your own actions and you will be able to gather enough material to start your own list. What happened was wrong. What can happen is in our hands. So why not focus on how you and I can make sure our kids grow up in a more tolerant environment. (I had never imagined myself writing this sitting here in the US.)

Mayans were right, the world as they had known did end on Dec 14, 2012, a week before they had predicted. They lived in a simplified world, where kids were a form of god. And when man kills god, what is there to remain?

Time to lay down new foundations now. And there is no better way to start, than by reflecting on our past and correcting our actions.

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