Pointed Fingers

Emma Mackey, Staff Writer

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The world that we live in now is one full of pointing fingers. Angry faces, loud voices, calls to action. Sometimes the pointed fingers do good; they turn heads to an issue that people couldn’t see even to actions sometimes. But people get caught up in the pointed fingers and other distractions that the world provides.There are so many things to divert our attention.

 

Schools used to seem safe to me. A place with walls fortified by education and possibilities. The smell of pencil shavings and Crayola crayons turned into the sound of 1,200 students making their way through the crowded halls. School is like a community of its own, one where violence isn’t even allowed in the movies we watch. The guns we learn about are the ones used in wars that took place fifty years ago. Dying in this building didn’t used to be something that I worried about.

 

And then 17 kids my age died on a day that is all about love. My whole world shifted on that day. It wasn’t that I hadn’t been exposed to it before; I’ve grown up with lockdown drills as the majority of us have, but it was after that day that I understood that I still wasn’t safe.

 

I stood in the Square that next week with thousands of people in silence. I heard voices chanting together; I saw the tears and the anger. I was witness to the outpouring of love and also the support that was sweeping over the nation. I used the camera in my hands as a way of absorbing it all, processing the emotions that filled the space between us.

 

When I wrote about it for the first time I focused on the way that so many people came together. I said that the support and love was tangible, but what I didn’t understand at that time was that there was another emotion that people were feeling. After being mixed up in the moment with all of the chants and tears, I wasn’t quite aware of the fear that was lurking underneath all of the love.

 

I thought that the Parkland shooting had hit me close to home. And then, twenty-two minutes from the town that I grew up in, in the high-school that my cousins attend, it happened again. I didn’t feel empowered this time. I didn’t want to go out and scream and yell, I was truly terrified. I was scared for the people that I love; I was scared for myself; I was scared for my future children. I felt tired and sick and embarrassed that we’ve stood together and yelled and pointed fingers and that I still could have lost my family.

 

I’ve read articles talking about the reason that so many people find themselves at such a low point in their lives that they take the lives of others. I’ve seen fingers pointed at everything from sodas to abortion rates to the president himself. I’m tired of watching people point fingers at things that are easier for them to understand rather than facing the actual problem.

 

People want to put the blame on something. They need a place to put all of the feelings of anger and sadness and disappointment that we all feel. But it’s so exceedingly difficult to point it at yourself. No one wants to be responsible for something so terrible. No one would willingly take the blame for being  the cause of so much pain and suffering. But the hard reality is that the people are the problem.

 

Blaming tragedies like these on video games and rising abortion rates isn’t where the focus should be. The world is sick with selfishness and hatred, bigotry, and outdated ways of thinking that don’t do anything but tear other people down. The fact of the matter is that people treat one another with disregard, as if no one’s feelings but their own matter, and it creates the people who commit these crimes.

 

If people would take a moment to think about the way that they treat the people around them, to see that they may be pushing someone down a dark path with their words or actions, I believe there would be significantly fewer hurt people in the world. Fewer people who can’t see a point in living, fewer people who would want revenge against the people who wronged them.

 

I know that it’s not as easy to put into action as it is to write, and I’m not trying to say that being kinder is the only solution. I’m merely suggesting that it’s the biggest one, and maybe even the one that the most people could agree on. It’s time to stop pointing fingers at everything around us and realize that the problem always started with us.

 

Support and love your fellow ‘Bos no matter the differences between you. Love each other, look out for one another, and always be kind.

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