Sunday May 31st, 2020 7:30 AM
The last day of May. It has not been so merry a month, in my opinion, with the pandemic, and the violence around the world and country. I haven’t turned on any electronics to see what went on through the night in major cities across the country. Frankly, I am hesitant to subject myself to the anger and violence of the videos.
It is overcast, so I can’t see Father but Mother is gently waving the Fir branches, making them dance on the ends. But it feels like a weighted blanket covering the Earth; appropriate after the violence that has erupted in the country.
I understand people’s anger at the death of George Floyd and all of the other people who have died at the hands of an inappropriate action by a law enforcement officer. I do think that the department and city heads have some responsibility in this. They employ and, in some cases, continue to employ officers representing our city after numerous incidents have happened, as in the case in Minnesota.
I also understand the “no nonsense” attitude of some law enforcers who go overboard in an incident as what they perceive to be a necessary way to get control over the situation quickly before anyone gets hurt. Just like a Dad would do when the children were starting to escalate into violence and get out of control.
We all at one time or another made snap decisions that, in the end, weren’t helpful and were actually harmful. We learn something about ourselves in that moment. At the very least, we have learned we are capable of reacting to a situation in that inappropriate way, and hopefully learn how to not go there again.
But keep in mind that it isn’t just Dad settling his kids down. He now gets a call to come settle someone else’s kids that are being brats or out of control, then another call to settle someone else’s kids and so forth. What would happen to Dad if he has had to tell kids time after time the same thing? It does wear on a person.
People have to remember that law enforcement are not some super beings that always respond in the most loving, compassionate way, every second of the day – those are called Guardian Angels. Police are human, just like you and me.
Granted, it takes a special kind of person to be able to deal with the depravity of the human species daily or at least too frequently for the “soul’s liking”. They see the absolute worst of people’s egos, passions and stupidity. They see the gruesomeness of some of our lost spirits, and it has to wear on a person. Dad knew his kids weren’t going to pull a gun or a knife or attack him, but he doesn’t know Joe Public’s kid – and these kids have now have guns and knives added to the teen angst of emotions.
I think Seattle has made monumental strides in finding more acceptable and productive techniques of dealing with an explosive situation, like the riots of “Battle of Seattle” in November 1999, that set the city on fire for 5 days. And I thought we as a society had made just as big of an advancement on how we deal with situations like this. I felt the compassion in Police Chief Carmen Best’s speech and was so thankful that “we” Washingtonians have this caliber of character to deal with people in a compassionate way. I was sure we as a society had evolved since 1999
As I watched the Sky King helicopter film of people converging onto the streets of Seattle in an orderly and civilized way. I was proud. I could hear the speakers at the organized protest, and thought, yes, we have arrived, we have learned the value of civility to be heard. But then I saw the frozen water bottles, rocks and anything some of the protestors could pick up and throw, hitting the police AND innocent bystanders. I knew we, as a society, have not “Gotten there” yet.
I wonder if our species is doomed It very well may be until we can understand that ALL Life matters, regardless of what color of paper you are gift wrapped in. I certainly hope not.