A year or so ago, I made a commitment to stop using the phrase "thoughts and prayers" to show my knowledge and sympathy for senseless tragedies. I don't consider myself religious or spiritual, but that wasn't the point. The point was that my prayers and my thoughts weren't going to solve anything. Let's be honest, ok? Are our prayers going to prevent mass shootings from happening in the future? Are our thoughts going to take away the unimaginable suffering from those who were involved in any tragedy? I'll answer it for us. No.
I don't have to rehash the events that occurred in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, and I won't use this space to paint over what so many of those people are feeling. What I will say is that something has to be done, and thoughts and prayers aren't going to be that something, for if they were, tragedies like this would have been prevented decades ago. But as a 23 year old woman who had zero involvement in what happened, I don't get to speak for preventable measures either, but I could push for them. What happened is not fair, it is not justifiable, and yes, as a nation we need to speak up. Although, I'm not sure the way we've been speaking up lately helps either.
These are the rules: they are unspoken, but they are true. You do not get to compare the tragedies that have happened anywhere to a current one. You do not get to say "at least." You do not get to watch what has happened on your TV or read about it in the news, bearing no involvement, and later speak of a celebration, with your involvement, and mumble the words "at least." You were not involved. There is no least. You did not experience the least.
I was taught to put myself in another person's shoes. I'm no expert, but I do try to envision myself as often as I can, stepping into the shoes of another person and imagining what they must be going through, how different it must be. And this goes for anything-- those experiencing grief, those who are unhappy, those who are content, those who are satisfied. But I think that if we allow ourselves to imagine that, if we commit to wearing another's shoes, and then only after that allow ourselves to carry judgement, then we can speak and let our words in the air. But if I step into someone else's shoes, and I find it too difficult to imagine how they walk around in them, then I think I just need to be quiet.
I guess my point is that we need to take our involvement out of situations that really didn't involve us at all. (My) thoughts, (My) prayers. (At least) this baseball game will bring us together. (At least) this will take our minds off of our divisive country. It's not about me, it's not about you. It is foolish to compare tragedies with successes. Tie your own shoes, walk in them, and if you couldn't imagine walking in the shoes of the person next to you, then you have nothing to do with what they're going through. Walk on, and lend a hand, but for the love of God, can we stop trying to find a way to connect tragedy to ourselves? Our thirst for sympathy is exhausting.
I like to write; point blank. This is a little piece of me that I get to share with the rest of the world, and hey, you know, maybe you'll appreciate it, maybe it'll do nothing for you. But my writing exists, and that's enough for me.
© 2019 Silvia Iorio. All rights reserved.