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One of THOSE Weeks
April 15, 2016
How many times do we sum up the passing of seven days by saying with a heavy sigh, “It’s been one of THOSE weeks?”
Well, it has. Our home looks more like our home now with tiling and painting (shout-out to my incomparable daughter-in-law, Katelyn Gibbs). The flower beds had their first weeding in sod and tan bark that felt more like sodden sponges than soil. Barcelona Football Club seemed to opt out of retaining their UEFA championship. Stanley Cup playoffs commence and Kobe Bryant’s long, inspiring career in the NBA ends.
All but one I see as positive things, and yet I came to last night with a deep wish to avoid people. Period. Teaching is entering a rote, let’s-get-this-over-with phase that comes every spring. My students are mentally tired and so am I. Projects that should have been completed even a week ago, when there was snow, are at best half done. Now there are more projects to be done in the yard, if my neighbors’ “concern” over the state of our grass is to be credited, and in my writing.
And worst of all, Pittsburgh suffered the lethal infection of a political rally full of people who know their First Amendment and Second Amendment rights darned near verbatim, but they don’t seem to know much else – like the laws of cause and effect. I.E., carry a gun and it’s likely to swell your head and lead you to fire it. Self-control is a type of gun control America today is rarely known for possessing. But so it was in Pittsburgh this past Wednesday before the 7 p.m. rally. I suppose some would applaud these compensators with their long barrels exercising a debatable constitutional right; but when it comes to locking down college dorms because defectives on both sides of a campaign wander the area openly carrying guns, someone has to call a halt.
But no one did, aside from the college administrators trying to protect their students. Apparently, however, that step worked. I’ve yet to hear of a Second Amendment-er, open-carry compensator getting his/her unspoken wish and being able to shoot somebody (then probably screech by reflex, “I feared for my life!”) around that particularly regrettable event. I pray the lack of reporting means no one suffered injury or death. I wish that on no one…out loud.
However, as I approach the age of 60, I find I have less and less patience with people who refuse to think before they open their gobs or reach for their man-makers. Or encourage people to regress to mindless beings who strike first and blame the other.
After a week like this, I can almost see the attraction of striking back, but, for me, it would take the form of a motherly, NCSI-style head-slap followed by a long time out for both of us.
I simply do not like allowing this kind of anger and frustration to stew in my mind. I have better things to do. So do most of us, with spring coming on and so many more serious problems out there. There are those, however, who can’t or won’t get past whatever demon it is that drives them to incite, promote and execute hatred and anger that is born of nothing short of FEAR. Yes, these people are afraid.
But try telling THEM that. If you do, duck fast, run, and pray s/he can’t shoot straight. Because s/he will try.
Sad, that a country born of such a brilliant idea and even sacred ideals should come to this. But ideals are not people and people are not ideals.
And so, it’s been a week like this that make me agree with the late Charles Schulz’s Linus observation: “I love mankind. It’s people I can’t stand.”