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What Do You Believe?


By: Kevin Sheehan, Special Columnist

Quite recently, we had one of the most tragic shootings in our modern history. Since the event, we have maintained a stream of questions that eventually meet their demise at the waterfall of doubt. It is hard to get any straight answers anymore, or any consistent ones. Events like this always cause us to questions, especially when the event never seems quite clear in its execution.

By no means do I mean a conspiracy of sorts, although that is always a question jumping in the minds of people that think a lot, or question what they are told versus facts and what they know.

Rather, we all have a sense of mortality when events like this come. We all wonder the same thing: “What if I or someone I love was in the crowd?” While being morbid, those thoughts usually follow after tragedy. We start to gain a slightly different perspective, and try to live life a little more, instead of going through the perfunctory routine of work, home, sleep, work, home, sleep, and so on.

However, in order to fight for what we believe, we need to know what we believe. One thing that we tend to do as we get older, is to hold on to our beliefs. Traditionally, we never open our eyes and become accepting of change until our life requires us to or an event occurs which changes our perspective. One of the beautiful things about our country, is the freedom to believe what we want.

We may believe that we have the right to ask questions and demand the truth. We have the right to demand justice, and to come up with a way for this to not happen again. We may believe that labeling ourselves according to our beliefs best describes our positions, or we may believe that labels are divisive in nature and do nothing but cause separation in our current society. We may believe he acted alone, or there were multiple people.

But there are moments when we need to take all our beliefs, and keep them inside of us. There are times when we need to shut our mouths, and open our eyes and hearts. This was not an event for politics. This is not an event for you or anyone else to push your beliefs or any agenda on. This was an event when we shut up, and grieve, not for ourselves because our country isn’t behaving the way it should, but for the loved ones of 58 individuals.

58 daughters, sons, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, etc didn’t go home that night. 58 peoples worth of families and friends will grieve, and consistently wonder about what really happened. This is not about you and what you believe. This is about them. There are very few things we can do in this situation, because nothing we do will ever take back the horror that has been done.

What we can do, and what we should do every day anyway, is to tell others in our lives how much they mean to us. We need to remember that all our little daily stresses won’t matter in the end, and we should be more patient and loving with one another.

Whether you believe the government was lying, whether you believe the media is lying, or whether you believe everything you are told, it doesn’t matter because this attack isn’t about you. It is about those who lost someone. This is not about politics. This is about our hearts. This is about our ability to heal. This is about our ability to put our differences aside, and stand together and mourn. Sadly, most don’t see it this way.

Myself, I do want answers. I do want truth. I do want justice. However, above all, I believe what I want the most is peace. The question is, what do you believe?