Reflection on Thousand Oaks
Happy Birthday U.S. Marine Corps. How fricking ironic. A few days ago, a Marine veteran was in the news. Not for a heroic act. He was probably a hell of a good marine, trained on tactics, how to shoot, how to kill. How to remain stone cold calm while snuffing out the lives of enemies, one by one. Only problem here was– he misidentified the enemy. He engaged in friendly fire, killing another Marine. He engaged in a massacre. He ended the bright future of a beautiful young woman with a golden path ahead of her. She stopped in her tracks that night and is now frozen, timeless, in the photographs her grieving parents are posting online. A beautiful round faced baby in a field of flowers. Curious, learning. She has stopped learning, and it seems we, as a culture, as a society, have stopped learning as well. We politicize and argue, but we don’t solve. We don’t teach soldiers how to return from battle and how to put down the sword and shield. We don’t train the battle weary how to rest and how to drink from a spiritual fountain to salve their spirits. There is no lesson at home on how to preserve goodness and kindness, how to respect life. Sometimes I think it is far too easy to teach hatred and violence than it is to teach kindness and love. We have to show it to teach it. We have to bathe others in it. We have to place the wounded in the gentle light and tend to them, so they may return to us, whole and innocent.
Remembering Alaina Housley, a bright light, a young woman, who exemplified kindness, Class of 2018 Vintage High School. Gone too soon. You left love behind, Alaina. You left great love behind.