Wendy Lind: Life is rarely black and white
February 19, 2018
Current atmosphere that it is, it seems likely that the occurrences of mass shootings will only continue to grow.
Though it would appear we can all agree that the pain and loss of lives in each of these events is tragic, debate over the best course of action to prevent such tragedies often centers around simply proving wrong any side that isn't one's own.
I would argue that proving one line of thinking to be wrong doesn't necessarily prove another right. Belittling others through aggressive language, cherry picking data to disprove a theory or using examples of existing flawed systems to accept a proposed similar system is not likely to produce any long-standing solutions.
And while making a case for why the "other side" is inferior might make us feel superior, at best, it's not solving any problems. At worst, it's further adding to the fire of divisive animosity.
Life is messy, and it's rarely black and white. Proving someone else as simply wrong can be short sighted and unproductive. On the flip side, attempting to find a solution through a full spectrum of ideologies is exhausting and aggravating, which is likely why we seldom take that approach for very long. However, showing some semblance of compassion and willingness to have an open mind might ultimately prove to be the most productive approach.
At the end of the day, I would guess the majority of the shooters responsible for these tragedies felt under-appreciated, scorned, humiliated or meaningless. We would be wise to avoid making anyone feel that same way as we work toward a solution.
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