I've determined to remain apolitical, at least in the public eye. It's not that I don't have my own opinions (my husband can testify to that), but I'm by nature non-confrontational, which is why you've probably never seen me post anything heated or controversial on my Facebook wall or twitter account. You don't know which presidential candidate I support, you don't know which hot-button issues get me riled up.
But then tragedy strikes. A gunman enters a school and slaughters innocent children. A terrorist organization wreaks havoc in Paris. And some people, not all, not even most, but some people take that as an excuse to jump on whatever political fruit stand serves their purpose best.
You know what, folks? It's time to stop making soap boxes out of other people's tragedies. A terrorist attack is not the time to throw in jabs about how your party or your candidate of choice could have handled the situation better. A school shooting is not the time to talk about what would or wouldn't have occurred if gun laws had aligned with your political leanings.
When tragedy strikes, it's time for us to pull together as people, not as separate political groups vying to take advantage of horrific events to sway public opinion.
When I was pregnant with our second child, I wanted to try for a natural birth even though my first son was delivered via C-section. V-BACs weren't as common back then, and my parents called me several times and tried unsuccessfully to change my mind. After three and a half days of labor, my son was born with severe brain trauma. It's possible his medical history would have been significantly different if he'd been delivered via C-section, but the doctors never said so specifically.
And you know what else? Neither did my parents. When they heard about Silas' condition, they called all their friends and asked them to pray. They sent goodie boxes to keep our toddler occupied while we spent six weeks away from home, eating cafeteria food, and wondering if our newborn would ever leave the NICU. My dad booked a plane ticket so he could be with us while Silas underwent his first surgery to put in the feeding tube that supplied his nutrition the first five years of his life.
Had my parents wanted, they could have made a point against V-BACs every single time we talked. They could have rubbed it in my nose that if Silas had been born via C-section, he might not have undergone such severe brain damage. But they were bigger than that.
It's time for us to be bigger, too. When tragedy strikes, it's time for us to pull together as people, not as separate political groups vying to take advantage of horrific events to sway public opinion. Life is too short and the world is too dangerous for us to stay cloistered in our little political hovels, pointing fingers, placing blame, and using scare-mongering tactics to win people over to one political bent or other.
It's time for us to leave our political agendas at home, get down on our knees, and unite as we pray for peace. Not just peace for our own political look-alikes, not just peace for our own country, not just peace for the parts of the world whose religion, philosophy, or form of government most align with our own. It's time to pray for peace the whole world over, which we'll never be able to do with all this bickering, back-talk, and calloused misuse of tragedy to push our own selfish agendas.
Life is too short and the world is too dangerous for us to stay cloistered in our little political hovels, pointing fingers, placing blame, and using scare-mongering tactics to win people over to one political bent or other.
This is probably the most political blog post I've ever written, and just in case you were wondering, it's not targeted toward one specific audience. I've spent the morning sick to my stomach at the way people flock around tragedy like vultures, seeing who can make the most memorable political point.
Come on, people. This is tragedy, not a debate. We're all bigger than this. Let's start acting like it.