Facing Reality

I know there is real struggle in the world today. Poverty, illness, violence, racial inequality, political incompetence – I know it is there and I know that there are families and individuals struggling to survive right now. My heart goes out to them.

I also believe in hope and faith, kindness, peace and positive energy. In my blog, I try to focus on the positive. I try to use bright, cheery or calming photos. I try to make it personal – I am a real person and I do care. If someone reads my blog, I hope that I have made a moment in their day better or easier.

Today, I am going off the rails. Today I cannot stick to the positive, feel good attitude that I prefer to put forth. If you are going through a tough time, you should not read this. I am so sorry. This will not help you feel better.

Today I awoke to the news of the lifeless bodies of two beautiful innocent little girls being found. Two little girls who’s lives were taken by the one man who should have done anything and everything to protect them.

In Canada, and most notably in Saskatchewan, when there is a domestic homicide in the news, the reaction is typical. It must be poverty related, it must be race related. If it is neither, people are shocked and the excuses pour forth. There was mental illness, there were drugs or alcohol involved, there was no warning, it was someone else’s fault.

The perpetrators of many, many domestic homicides in Canada are white, priviledged, educated and well employed. These stone sober, cold blooded domestic homicides (and much domestic violence) are a result of arrogance, contempt, lack of personal responsibility, selfishness and control.

We can once again feign shock and sorrow or we can get our heads out of our lily white butts and start dealing with these horrific homicides that are occurring more and more regularly.

We need to stop looking over there for the problem and start looking here for potential problems – at our families, and our friends, and our neighbours. Look for signs of contempt or control. Look for signs of fear and abuse. The signs are there – and they are obvious.

We need to start raising our children to take personal responsibility. We need to start teaching them that they are here to serve others – not to be served.

We need to start teaching our children real values – kindness, respect, humility, and dignity.

We need to stop making lame excuses for ourselves and our children – it was just a joke (some things are not funny), boys will be boys, well tempers will flare, it was just an accident …

We need to stop teaching our children to blame their victims. That does not teach them self control or personal responsibility.

We need to start training professionals – law enforcement, judges, lawyers, teachers, doctors, etc. to tell the difference between abusers and victims. Victims often sound irrational, irate, upset, dramatic. Violent, sadistic, cruel abusers and murderers often sound calm, cool, rational and responsible. Sometimes you have to look deeper.

Like many social issues of our time, domestic violence and homicide is not going to be eradicated overnight. In cultures and societies where this issue is not acknowledged and addressed it will never be eradicated.

How many more innocent lives need to be taken or destroyed before we realize we have a problem?

Deadly

On Thursday, the news broke. Another murder suicide. A middle aged couple on the verge of divorce. Husband took his wife’s life and then took his own. Shock and sadness. How can this happen? Why does this keep happening? I have a few thoughts on the subject.

Every time the subject of domestic violence, or any violence for that matter, comes up in Saskatchewan the same comments follow. It is natives, it is poverty, it is refugees. No, it is not. All too often, it is us. It is one of ours. The couple who died last week – white, middle class, nice home in a nice neighbourhood. Robert Picton, the pig farmers who butchered countless native women in British Columbia, one of us. Russell Williams, commander of the Trenton Airforce Base in Ontario, who raped and murdered young women, one of us. Robert Leeming, murdered his room mate/part time girlfriend and her little daughter, one of us. I could go on for pages.

The fact is violence and murder is not confined to any race, socio-economic group,sex or age. We have to quit looking over there and start looking across the board for the actual root causes and red flags. Until then, there is no realistic way we can prevent it, it will keep happening.