What ever happened to thinking before we speak? I hear crowds chanting to tear down our system of order and these nationwide protests are calling for what exactly? Are we preferring a lawless existence to one that is flawed by the very nature of our humanity? Two officers were gunned down on Saturday in Brooklyn, NY and Sunday morning, another was gunned down in Tarpon Springs, FL.
We want officers to trust that we have good intentions. How can we ask them to be compassionate, when we show that we aren’t on their team? Instead of tearing them down, we must raise them up. We can begin by offering the respect and kindness that one would show to their son or daughter who wears the uniform. That officer is a husband/wife, father/mother, brother/sister, son/daughter, and friend to someone. They offer what many of us are unwilling to give.
While I observe the system isn’t perfect, criminal acts of violence against those who are called to serve and protect incites further fear and apprehension. Is this what we want our police officers to feel? Police officers have families and while we suppress our thoughts of the dangers they face on the daily, this recent uprising is causing us to question whether their honorable commitment is worth the senseless sacrifice of their lives. Shame on those who don’t value a life, any life.
I’ll share a story of how fear incites anger and leads to aggression. When I began my career in mortgage sales, I was often on the road meeting with strangers outside of the office. To protect myself, my husband insisted that I learn how to use and carry a gun, so I did.
One afternoon, I was driving in traffic and I absentmindedly cut off another driver. The man was angry and let me know as much. I blew him off and this further aggravated him. At our next stop, he continued to yell at me. Being young and stupid, I yelled back and continued the exchange. I became increasingly afraid that he was going to get off the car and come at me. So what did I do? I took my gun out of the glovebox, cocked it back and laid it on the passenger seat and waited to show him that I could and that I would protect myself. But did I really need to?
As we continued to push through traffic, I thought to myself, ‘This is crazy. I’m wiling to shoot this person, for what?’ So, rational thought returned and I turned off on the next street, pulled over, took a few deep breaths and made the decision to never put myself in that position again. A few things changed on that day. First thing is that I no longer carry a weapon. Second is that I began to take appointments with clients only in my office or in real estate offices. Third thing is when I realize that I cut someone off in traffic, I roll down my window and profusely apologize before they can start screaming. And lastly, I don’t respond to angry drivers.
This is my nephew Brian and his son, Shayne. His wife is seven months pregnant with a daughter on the way. Our family prays for his safe return every day and while we hope that he never has to draw his weapon, I hope he doesn’t hesitate and draws his first.