I had another post planned for today, but waking up to hear about the horrific event in Las Vegas, I knew I had to change it.
I don't pretend to know what the people in Las Vegas went through. I don't pretend to know what the people who lost their loved ones are going through. I don't pretend to understand what the survivors are feeling.
I do know that I sat, numb. Staring at my computer, trying to make sense of another horrific violent act. A huge lump swelled in my throat and I sat, blinking back tears while my dogs crowded around me confused at the shift in my mood and our morning routine.
I feel overwhelmed by sadness, grief that so many people were hurt in such a violent way. I feel anger that in 2017 instead of dialing down the senseless violence we are setting "new records" for death tolls. I feel despair because these are records I don't want to ever have broken again.
When tragedies and catastrophes (like the deadly hurricanes in the Caribbean) happen, I find myself paralyzed. Paralyzed because no action I find myself able to take seems enough. And that is terrifying for me - taking action is how I deal.
So today, I let myself sit paralyzed for a bit. I drank my coffee and hugged my dogs and about that time I remembered an article I read after the Orlando Pulse shooting. It was about a movement to NOT name the shooters in the media. Its a simple premise: don't sensationalize the names of these terrible individuals - it takes away from the victims. The founders of the movement discussed how when they list the mass shootings people can inevitably name the shooters but have trouble remembering any of the names of the victims.
The victims of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting called it the No Notoriety movement. Another group calls it the Don't Name Them movement. http://www.dontnamethem.org
It seems so simple, but it is so opposite to what our current media situation makes us clamor for. I admit that I immediately wanted more information on the shooter in Las Vegas - to know WHY he committed this terrible act. Then I remembered the movement. And thought - I can't give this evil being any more real estate in my brain. So I'm working on evicting him, aiming to give that space to something good.
I may not be able to help directly in Las Vegas, but I want to help somehow. Today, I will focus on the people around me and how I can reach out and make their lives better. It's not much, but selfishly it makes me feel better.
My heart is heavy and my thoughts are with all the victims of senseless violence, in Las Vegas and everywhere. I WILL NOT say the shooter's name. I will do that small service to his victims. #nonotoriety.