Broken and Lost

Today there was another mass shooting, this time in Maryland.

Crime is the cost of cutthroat capitalism and the emptiness and despair that meritocracies engender. Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk, used to talk of looking at a leaf, and in that looking, being open to see its entire life and environment. The air, the water, the trauma, it was all there to be seen.

We could spend the money to save the lost and hopeless, but instead we spend it on huge, militarized police forces and unneeded wars.

When someone wastes their life by shooting children in school, or coworkers, isn’t it just a natural result of learned trauma and hopelessness? We create the crimes and wring our hands when they happen. We are to blame; we are destroying our children and vulnerable adults.

Yes, the heartless NRA is to blame, and so is the Republican Party, but in that “leaf” one can usually see a school system that is more vampire than nurturer, a family that is clueless and trauma laden, and a future for that person that is not worth living.

A sick tree has sick leaves. America is sick to its core. The broken and lost are our brothers, too, and until we understand that, the deaths will continue.

Hugh Massengill


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