With the events of Dallas and Baton Rouge looming over us this past week, along with the protests that followed shortly after, I had to say a few words.
I am not a political or religious person, so when I hear about these senseless killings, I shake my head and wonder what the average person can do to change the behavior or thoughts of those that are different. The simple answer is you can't.
I work with a young man, 30 years old. He looks as if he's 16. Sometimes, people do not take him seriously.
Yet, he's one of the smartest fellows I know. He’s funny and willing to help anyone at anyone. He went to school for architecture. I asked him why he was doing sales and not architecture. His reply was simple: "I don't enjoy it."
Did I mention that he's African-American?
He's what I refer to as my "work son" and, as such, he has certain responsibilities. One is to make sure I'm feeling okay during the day and not to let me do anything stupid like moving things I shouldn't be. When Daphne, my feline friend, died last year, he really kept an eye on me. When he saw how sad I was, he took me outside and comforted me.
He went live on Facebook the other day, pleading for change, and wondering how he can make a difference. He wants to help. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body.
I try to encourage him to do the best he can, and plow on through the bad moments. We're all going to encounter people that don't like us for any number of reasons, be it race, creed or age.
In my job, the ethnicities represented are quite far ranging. We have white, Indian, Italian, Spanish and Black. Within the Black, we have the many countries represented, including Haiti, Trinidad and Jamaica. Does everyone get along all the time? No, but we try.
How we raise our children makes a big difference as well. Show them how to respect all people, and they will learn that respect is a two way street. If they have a wide and diverse range of friends, that helps as well.
They also have must learn that not everyone is as open-minded as we are or as open to be friendly. The recent events in Belgium and Turkey certainly showed.
When we were in Charleston, South Carolina last year, we passed the church that had the shooting a couple of months before. There were still flowers and wreaths out front. It was very quiet, and after we passed it, that's when I realized where we were and what it was. Charleston recovered quickly.
Our country needs to get over what every "race virus" has taken over. There is simply no need for it. You can't make new laws to have people like each other. What we need is for the National Rifle Association (NRA) loving Republicans to open their eyes and pass tough gun control laws.
There is no need for the average citizen to own an assault weapon. That's just a pot waiting to boil over. I'm surprised, after the Newtown, CT, school shootings, tough gun control laws weren’t mandated. That's just another piece of the political puzzle.
What is it going to take, to put all this senseless violence behind us, finally?
All Lives Matter. All Colors Matter. All People Matter.
Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.
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