The request for guest posts was not one I could pass up; when I learned the theme I went about writing a post, or rather starting a post. The original post has been scrapped. I was distracted by something shiny, then life interrupted to wake me to the reality of interactions.
There are positive and negative interactions, our only wish is to shield the innocent while the reality has us hoping to heal the innocent. This post I’m sure will offend some even though it is in no way political or religious; it is simply something that had to be gotten out. It weighs heavily on the mind.
There have been two mass murders at elementary schools recently. One with a knife, one with a gun. The one closest to home (in the U.S.) got a great deal of media coverage within hours shoving the reality in everyone’s faces. The reports focused on the shooter, wrongly identifying his brother as the shooter at first but finally correcting the matter to reveal his true identity.
Children were interviewed as we watched in horror that this could happen in such a small town. The fear and shock were still evident on their faces and in their voices as they answered questions from a reporter trying to be tactful with the children that often had difficulty describing what they had been through. We move to small towns to feel safe thinking that we can avoid the demons that hide in larger cities. We cry out in anger and disgust that someone could do something so gruesome, the events are analyzed and profiles searched for the reason; all the while the media feeds the frenzy.
There is a reason they call it the “money shot,” it comes with a price. The price is often higher than we would like. Of course, by now you are wondering what in the world this has to do with interaction. Well, it has a lot to do with interaction; after all, the looney tune man that rained terror interacted with the victims, and he unfortunately will go down in history. No, he will not be famous, he will be notorious. There is a difference.
Far too much media coverage would be given to those that commit the crimes while far too little is given to those that sacrifice their lives to protect the innocent. The teacher that died protecting her students, the principal and other staff that ran toward the shots while others admittedly dove under tables; these are the ones that will be forgotten all too soon as life moves on.
The interaction in the days to come will be funeral planning, sympathy cards, prayers and condolences. The media coverage will drizzle to a halt until someone writes a bestseller. Time will pass, and the scarring of the events will begin to heal at a rate only known to the directly affected. There is nothing that can be done to prepare for this type of tragedy; no matter how many times we attempt to teach are children to be safe, they are the most vulnerable in society. The same innocence that makes you see life in a new light, finding pleasure in the simplest of things, makes them unaware of the dangers.
Everyone is a stranger at first; we tell children not to speak to them automatically limiting the circle of interaction. We want to feel safe in our homes, which in reality leaves most of us spending more time with the locks on the doors than with the members of our own household. We arm ourselves; we pray, curse and plan, but we overlook the time it takes to ask someone about their day, their feelings and the little things that are the most important to them.
The less we interact as a society increasingly dependent on electronic communications that allow us the luxury of never actually seeing another human being the more likely we are to see what we perceive as unexpected outburst. They say no one could predict, but how many of those spent time with the ones that are committing the crimes? How many spent time with those that commit suicide?
Interacting is more than ramblings of the day; it is paying attention to body language. The things that are left unsaid are sometimes more important than the things that are said in the moment you pretend to listen course of everyday chit chat.
Do you know what your children did at school today? Do you know why the little old lady down the road plants a new rose bush each year even though she has a yard full always beautifully in bloom? When the last time you interacted enough to know that behind that beautiful smile was a heart hurting and lonely in a crowded room?
Thank you, Laurie. If you have not stopped by to see Laurie at Odds and Ends, today is a good day to do just that. She is a prolific writer, long time blogger, mother to someone I happen to think inherited her mother’s sass and someone I consider a friend.
The theme of this week’s guest posts is “interaction”. As always, guest bloggers are given the theme only with no prompting as to where to take it. Take a few moments to answer Laurie’s questions. I hope you have enjoyed this one as much as I have.
If you would like to do a guest post, please use the Ask Momma form. ~Red
Warning: Any comments of a political nature will be removed without notice.
© Red Dwyer 2012
Original post © Laurie Childree
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