Wednesday, April 18, 2007

#10, Thursday 13 Thoughts and Musings

One Day Blog Silence

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It's Wednesday, the day before Thursday and I am overwhelmed by the week already. I had a fun idea for the 13 this week, but the events of Monday at Virginia Tech and today's news have just led me down another path. My list today is called 13 Thoughts and Musings. For background information, I am a mother of a college freshman, I have worked in the medical field for 20 years, and I have worked in a high school for five years, all of these experiences have led to the following 13.

1. The need for better Mental Health care- we have opened the doors of the state hospital and let everyone out into the world. We have forgotten the Mentally ill need more care and resources than we are providing.

2. Need a counselor? Good luck finding one, there aren't that many in this area taking new clients. What can you do, not sure, any suggestions on this one?

3. If your child is threatening suicide, it is not funny, amusing or a quirk, it's a serious cry for help that you are not listening to. All of us need to be listening and reacting.

4. We, society, needs to change how we think about responsibilities, our children are growing up without developing empathy for others. How do we do that? By our actions, volunteering and stepping up. Actions speak louder than words.

5. Media, why is NBC news putting the gunman's images and words on the air? Aren't they giving him what he wanted? How did you feel tonight seeing the killer's pictures on television? I cried, it disturbed me that this person got fame for such a heinous crime. What will be next? If this affects you, please let NBC know!

6. Maybe we do need to get aggressive, I asked my son what he would have done if a shooter came into a lecture hall. He said, " I would be the one either closing the door or jumping out the window, I wouldn't be the one playing dead." Easy enough to say when you are not in that situation, but what can you do to save yourself?
Do we need to teach our children how to protect themselves?

7. I still find it strange that my post on Sunday was about the increase of students on antidepressants and the popularity of PostSecret. Why? Maybe we need to get back to the idea of families, common goals, and a purpose in life. The importance of intrinsic rewards versus extrinsic.

8. Media??? Still shaking my head about the broadcast tonight, I even called our local NBC station during the news to voice my complaint.

9. Complacency, pretty comfortable place to be as long as life is good. I am thinking it's getting to be a scary place out there. What can I do? Get more involved with the activities that my kids are involved in. Get them out volunteering to see how lucky they have it and how good it feels to help others.

10. Religion, through all of this, I have prayed. I may not be a church goer, but I have those moments, right before I fall asleep that I have my conversation with God. (it's kind of funny, b/c my prayers sound more like a conversation than the stuff the nuns used to teach us)

11. Gun laws, it has gotten to be such a hot topic in our country. But let's have the discussion about handguns.....or about making the process, long and difficult to get a gun. Europe doesn't seem to have mass killers.

12. If what you hear or see disturbs you, speak up. I don't want to my news to be censored, I want to know what is going on. Let's reduce the shock value.

13. Hug your child often, show the love, but teach them that life is not always fair, we don't always win and we won't always get what we want. But that is life, it is not the reason to kill.

My picture for Wordless Wednesday is from Lubeck, Germany, a nice little town to spend the day walking through shops and enjoying the marzipan.
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  1. Girlfriend, you've given food for thought. It's good to have a serious post now and then to bring us back down to earth. Every point you raised is exceptional.

  2. You are so right about all these things -- the statement about intrinsic as opposed to extrinsic rewards rang a bell with me. Our children always want to know what's in it for them.

    My TT is also posted.

  3. Michelle9:13 PM

    Great TT. What a horrible tragedy that happened. My nephew was accepted to VT only days before this happened and is now a little torn, although he realizes that it could happen anywhere. It is still so scary.

  4. Our (and by our I mean North American society) inability to care for the poorest of the poor and those who desperately need assistance with mental illness has always disturbed me. I firmly believe that in the history texts of the future we will be judged not by what we did, but what we didn't do when there was a need.

  5. I can't stand the media...bunch of jackals salivating over death. No thanks.

  6. I hope people do start paying more attention to their children and their children's friends. I have heard that the gunman was referred to counseling, but the didn't stand up to him enough beforehand.

  7. We can't do enough of hugging of our kids/grandkids and telling them how much we love them. We never know (heaven forbid) when something like the VT tragedy might happen.

    Check out my TT.

  8. Anonymous10:48 PM

    I like what you said about intrinsic values -- more and more people have the attitude "it's all about ME ME ME and what I WANT" without a thought or care in the world for anybody else. And yes, lack of empathy goes hand in hand with that.

    And arrrrgh, the media... arrrrgh, just arrrrgh.

    Thank you for a thoughtful, sensitive post, and thanks for visiting my blog.

  9. I was appalled when I read the paper and they were saying that the university didn't notify students soon enough. I mean, who can plan for the emergency strategy for the unthinkable? After the first murders, how could they have known that there would be more? Although I don't believe that they need to justify their reactions, I can't imagine that they would have known that there would have been more violence to come. We can't expect institutions like universities to be prepared for everything.

  10. Di- I agree that is one area where I don't know how they would know the intent of the killer. A lockdown maybe, but if you've never done one, how could you do one quickly?

  11. The more details that emerge about the gunman, the more your number one reverberates to me. This kid needed serious help and no one seemed to take it as seriously as they should.

    NBC is disgusting. You could literally see the gleam in Brian Williams' eye when he was talking about it.

    Empathy is something my kids' elementary school strives to instill and you can see it in the behavior of the kids. I'm very fortunate.

  12. A very thoughtful and well-said TT list. I couldn't watch the news. I found it too disturbing. Really I agree with everything you said. More does have to be done about mental health. More has to be done about restoring the ties of community and compassion that seem to have disappeared in the last few decades.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  13. You are right with Europe. Here it's very, very difficult to get a gun unless you have a jewelry shop but still it's not easy at all and you have to fill in tons of papers ! Hunters are allowed to buy a rifle but also there they go almost back to the 1st generation to see if there is no criminal in the family. Only policemen are allowed to carry a gun.
    So if a mad wants to kill, he could kill one person with a knife and not 32 by shooting around. One is already sad enough.
    And why the heck people need a gun ? Do you need one ? If nobody has one, nobody needs one. The far West is long gone !
    We also had some incidents in schools but only with knives. (sounds already awful the word "only"!)

  14. I'm with you on all of those. Certainly some food for thought...
    Thanks for visiting my collections TT.

  15. What a great list. Very meaningful right now!

    I totally agree with you on NBC!

  16. This is a great list. It really made me think, because I've been wondering about the time when I'll put my own children into a school system, and what they will face.

  17. Thanks for sharing your insights. I know things are tense here in South-western Virginia, but a part of me is wondering how long it'll be before everything calms and people begin to forget. It's rather sad how quickly things are forgotten and put behind us.

  18. Very thought-provoking list. The tragedy at Virginia Tech is so sad. :( The victims, their families and friends are in my prayers.

    Society definitely needs to do a better job at looking out for, and looking after, those with mental illness.

  19. That is such a good list - I'm glad you voiced your opinion to the media coverage, that is exactly what this gunman wanted to go down and for everyone to know his name and hear his thoughts....this also means that the #1 on your list is a huge concern..the mentally ill seem to fall through the cracks and then tragedies occur...however I'm not sure what happened in this case but the guy was obviously disturbed.

    My TT is up!

  20. A really good, thought provoking list. I don't know what the answer is. It just seems that, with 300 million people, we're going to have stuff like this happen. How to stop it? I don't know. Right now, I don't think we can.

  21. This is a terrific, insightful TT! Thank you for this. I didn't watch the news last night because I didn't want to see those images of him. I'm still very saddened by the whole incident.

  22. What a wonderful post, Jenny. Sad, pertinent, beautiful and so very thought provoking.

  23. what a i Hate is a good counselor is hard to find and when you DO find one its every 3-4 weeks they fit you in! sigh!

  24. I was angry with myself for looking at the pictures of the killer for exactly the reason you state - that it would be what he wanted.

    Too late to change it after the event though.

  25. Great thoughts. I too was very distraught (and still am) over the airing of the video of the killer so soon and believe it gives him the twisted fame he wanted. Mental health help should be easier to find and guns shouldn't!! I live right next door and am having a hard time carrying on with regular blog topics now.

  26. Mental health is indeed a HEALTH issue. If it were treated better medically, and with less stigma socially, we not only would have fewer school shootings, we'd have fewer suicides, fewer depressions, and, to bring filthy lucre into the equation, greater productivity in the workplace. One person my heart goes out in this tragedy was the killer's creative writing teacher. She tried to alert the authorities at the school. What's that phrase? "In loco parentis" or something similar. Colleges have to take greater responsibility for adolescents who are no longer children but still not adults.


Any thoughts or musings of your own to add?