What happened on Saturday morning in Tucson, Arizona was a tragedy.
Dictionary.com defines the word ‘tragedy’ as “a lamentable, dreadful, or fatal event or affair; calamity; disaster.” It doesn’t mention politics or any kind of belief system because tragedies can befall all of us. And they do. Regardless of your political affiliation, we are all affected by the attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ life on Saturday, which left 6 dead and 14 injured.
I’ve been reading the articles and scanning the tweets, and I couldn’t help but shed a few tears when hearing that Christina-Taylor Green, the tragedy’s youngest victim, had just been elected to student council, intended to run for office, and was so dedicated to reaching her goals. To think that Christina and all of the others lost their lives and sustained horrible injuries while engaging in democracy…there aren’t words.
And yet, we struggle anyway, reaching out to our keyboards to try and explain, understand, and heal. This can be good, and it can be bad.
The inclination to point fingers and place blame is where we go wrong. Already people on both sides of the aisle have done this. Why can’t we instead join hands in mourning the losses and working together to make our own communities safer places?
It’s hard to ignore differences and not to be swayed by one side or the other, but it’s important in times like these to remember what we all have in common. This is not about sides, it’s about the strength and fragility of humanity. We’re all in this together, whether we like it or not.
Tragedies shouldn’t be exploited. We can only grieve and move forward to improve the flaws in our society to prevent history from repeating itself. It shouldn’t take the deaths and injuries of 20 people for us to realize that we are all human beings who deserve to be treated with respect.
Be conscious of your words. Be deliberate. Be honest. Be safe. Live.
From all of the writers of Mislabeled: our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to all of those directly impacted by the Saturday’s tragic shooting Tucson. We hope that together, we can heal and work to build a society in which violence has no place.