Lets be Better

I have never been able to fully wrap my head around the ability of one person to take the life of another.

I sit here tonight, trying to understand the chaos that takes place in our world today.

Within two days, social media has once again become a platform for protests and movements on behalf of six people who were killed. As far as I know, two were black men shot by police officers and four were police officers shot by two people with snipers… who I can only assume were upset about the other two people being killed.

When I heard about the first shooting that took place, my immediate thought was, “dear God, why does this keep happening and how can it be prevented?” I see friends posting statuses filled with hashtags and words expressing their hurt and anger. I understand and feel for them and I will never try compare myself to them or imagine that I know what it’s like to be in their shoes.

 

Fear and anger, these two emotions can overtake a person to the point where they may take a life. Any other reason for killing a person… well that’s called sociopathy.

If the world was blind we would all just be human and there would be no bias due to the color of a persons skin. We would be defined only by our personalities good or bad. There are good and bad people in the world of all different colors, backgrounds and religions. When we generalize a certain group of people due to the actions of a few we are only fueling the fire and creating barriers.

If the world were a better place then police officers probably wouldn’t have jobs. But we live in a world where we can be surrounded by gang members, murderers, drug dealers and rapists and we may not even know it. It is the duty of an officer to protect us from the actions of these people. Wouldn’t it be helpful if criminals wore signs on their backs saying what kind of crimes they have committed? Instead they walk amongst us and we are left to figure out who we should be afraid of.

Police officers have to use the information that they know to weed out the bad guys. I’m not saying that stereotyping is ok, but I doubt there is a person on this earth who hasn’t done it. If statistics show that the majority of crimes have been committed by a certain race who wear a certain type of clothing and drive a certain type of car then that is the information that police officers will go off of to make sure they put the bad guys behind bars.

I don’t want this to sound like an attack on any certain group of people, it is good information for everyone… When a police officer asks you to do something, you should listen. When you do not comply the officer will become afraid for his/her own life and you are only putting yourself in danger.

We all have different things to worry about.

A few years ago I was shopping and encountered and interaction between a mother and her young boy. They were black and the boy was asking his mother if he could get a pair of red shoes. I was surprised when she got angry and told the boy he couldn’t get the shoes because she didn’t want people to think that he was affiliated with a gang. The boy was crushed because he clearly loved the shoes, but the mother knew that she was keeping her son from potentially being harmed by gang members because of the color of his shoes.

My dad was a sheriff for many years and I know that he had to worry about being followed home by the criminals who he had put in prison. He had to worry about his young children and wife being harmed because he was trying to make the world a better place by getting criminals off the streets. He may not have had to worry about what color our shoes were but he did have to worry about making it home every night and making sure that he didn’t leave his children fatherless. Like I said, we all have to worry about different things.

Just last week I woke up in the middle of the night to a horrible dream about an officer and good friend of my dads who was brutally murdered by a lowlife criminal. I couldn’t go back to sleep thinking about how this man died. It was 13 years ago but for some reason the occurrence popped into my dream. I’ll spare you the details of his death but it is people like him who don’t get the credit they deserve, people who put their own lives on the line to protect us from the evils of the world. He was the kind of hero we need.

I am in no way saying that officers have the right to take innocent lives or that one life is more important than another, but lets stop hash tagging and start coming up with a solution. Lets educate people on how to act in a situation where they are being detained by a police officer, lets do something to make sure that race does not effect the way our officers do their jobs. Let’s be better.

My prayers are with the families of those who have lost loved ones this week, I pray that something good can come out of such a horribly tragic time.

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