What is the answer?

So Cain was very angry….

We are an angry people here in these United States. At least if social media is any indication. The reactions and comments that always follow tragedies involving firearms like we recently witnessed in Florida too often are fueled by emotions that are unrestrained. Despite the finger pointing, and blame game that begins almost immediately there are few realistic solutions. The undercurrent of anger is clearly evident in most if not all of these conversations.

We may never know for sure what motivated a young man on that day to murder 17 people and injure many others. But I am reasonably sure unrestrained emotions played a part in his decisions. Anger that fosters ill-will, that blames others for offenses real and imagined, that leads to murder.

The first ever recorded murder involved the first brothers on planet earth. Offense was the fuel for the anger that led to Cain killing his brother Abel. And on it goes.

I’m not sure what the answer is but I’m pretty sure I can identify the problem.

Sometimes we do not have the opportunity we desire. And we envy what others have. Maybe it’s a relationship, a job, a family which increasingly many young people do not have. Maybe it’s ambition to have what others have, popularity or the girlfriend or boyfriend they have and you don’t. Maybe it’s the importance of being recognized on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

James writes, ” for where you have envy and selfish ambition there you find disorder and every evil practice.” When self-interest continues as a dominant commitment of our lives, serving ourselves above all others it leads to lashing out at people we will most likely never meet. Sometimes it leads to tragedies of the kind we have witness far too often in our nation.

If we are unwilling to have reasonable conversations that cross every spectrum, political, social, culturally, and race, we will never find the answers so urgently needed.


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