gratitude-a-thon day 401: do your part.

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Compassion?

I don’t know what else that could have prevented yet another mass shooting in Santa Barbara. Doing errands all day yesterday, I didn’t do my usual surfing of the news until last night and was stunned to see another kid had gone off the rails and killed seven people, and wounded seven others.

Because he was lonely.

This boy was a privileged 22 year old, whose dad is a Hollywood director. He became a mass murderer before shooting himself in the head because he wasn’t popular with girls. He was isolated and angry that he was a virgin.  Only 24 hours earlier he posted a seven minute YouTube video describing his his sexual frustration and loneliness–“Elliott Robert’s Retribution.”

“Humanity is a disgusting, wretched, depraved species,” Rodger said in the clip. “If I had it in my power I would stop at nothing to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls and rivers of blood and rightfully so. You deserve to be annihilated and I will give that to you. You never showed me any mercy so I will show you none.”

In the video, which has since been pulled from YouTube, Rodger, who described himself as a virgin who had “never even kissed a girl,” also detailed his deep-seated hatred for women.

“College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. In those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness, it’s not fair,” he said. “You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me but I will punish you all for it.”

There’s much more. He also wrote a 140 page manifesto called “My Twisted Life.” He had a trouble past and is said to have been an odd kid, bullied since he was young.

 

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Here’s all I know. Here’s all I can think of. That while we need mental health services to be easily and affordably accessible, and we need gun laws to be stricter, with thorough background checks, that what we each can do, is to be kinder. Instead of shunning the kid that doesn’t fit in, consider the person behind the odd behavior. Teach your children that life is not an even playing field and that it’s not easy for everyone to live in the world. Mental illness is cruel, and kids can be crueler. In the end, we are all human beings, and we need to care just a little bit more for one another. Remember to be compassionate. It’s a small thing, but it’s something we can actually do that might help those people who feel like puzzle pieces without a puzzle.

 

 

2 Replies to “gratitude-a-thon day 401: do your part.”

  1. it was hard to watch that video – only saw a few minutes of it. that boy (and he was a boy) was so damaged – the combination of his mental illness plus being bullied – it is an equation we have seen produce devastating results. For some it might have been his own suicide – but he took the other route — the vengeful (or more vengeful one.)

    we always say ‘kids can be cruel’ – and I think that more and more we are now seeing how that cruelty manifests itself.

    if just one girl had been nice to him – might it have helped? I used to say to my kids (when they felt lonely or if they felt they weren’t part of the ‘in crowd) – you only need one friend…just one…

    so sad.

    xoxo

    1. obviously, there was a confluence of things going on here, but yeah, what if, just one thing had been different for him, what if just one girl hadn’t shunned him and made him feel like such a loser. who knows. we’ll never know, but it can’t hurt to be nicer to people, always keeping in mind that we really don’t know when an action will cause a reaction, good, or bad. it just can’t hurt.

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