I mourned the loss of life in Las Vegas all day yesterday and into my sleep. I prayed for the victims. I also prayed for the shooter and his family. The loss of innocent life is painful for us all. Especially the family and loved ones of the victims. But these tragedies effect all of us. We do not know when another attack will occur. And in some cases, like the recent one, we do not even know our enemy. As of yet, no motive has been uncovered.
Many people say they do not want to know about the killer. That he was pure evil. Perhaps. But there have been too many like him. I think it is important to understand his state of mind, the events in his life that led up to him committing such an act of atrocity.
At my office job this morning, my friend R, the leader of one of the groups that meet in the church stopped by. As usual, he brought me a flower and a smile. And positive words. I told him I so appreciate his sunny disposition. He gave me a lovely quote from the AA "Big Book"
"There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to find fault with the rest of us."
I Googled the quote and found that it is attributed to James Truslow Adams. (Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/jamestrusl393633.html)
My friend R said he had heard that the shooter was a Vietnam War vet. I did some research and cannot find anything to coorborate this. It would certainly explain a lot. But I think we are reaching for straws. Perhaps we will never know his motive.
But I do know about mean people. And I do know about being bullied for being different.
And I do know about being an introvert. Sometimes if a person is hurt, belittled, or made to feel "less than", they retreat and go inside. And if they spend too much time inside themselves, feeling like it is "me against the world", a seed of revenge can sprout.
This is just speculation.
I have been hurt. But thankfully I have my faith. I turn to Jesus to help me rise above. I fight constantly to be humble, to forgive, to be kind and loving.
I truly believe the scripture 1 John 5:19: "We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one."
And I believe the battle will continue. I grieve for the suffering, but I also grieve for the perpetrators of evil. They cannot possibly know love or have hope in eternal life.
I wonder if our churches should go back to preaching about Hell, fire and brimstone?
Because so many people seem to have lost hope. They seem to turn to darkness and destruction as a way to be remembered.
These thoughts were circulating in brain yesterday as I submitted my resignation for my little church secretary job (aka "Administrative Assistant"). I felt more like a secretary. I was never a good secretary. Have a bit of trouble with authority and doing things "just so". I am creative. I like to welcome people and make them feel loved.
So, instead of blaming this job, the occasional mean person, my computer, etc., I am looking at myself. I want to spend my days in the most positive, life affirming places possible. Places where I am valued.
My daughter is going back to work in November. Now I can take care of my granddaughter several mornings a week!
I can devote more time to piano practice!
I can spend time lesson planning for piano students!
I can perhaps get a few more students - adult students who have mornings free!
Speaking of free, I knew this was a good decision after I sent my letter. I had a feeling of exhilaration and freedom!
Not much guilt!
But, I did acknowledge that this job was a good learning experience. And I made new friends.
And I am not leaving on a sour note. I gave 30 days notice and offered to train the new person.
I am going out on a happy note. Not in a blaze of fire and bullets, death and destruction.
That is why I am interested in the story behind the Vegas shootings. Did someone hurt him, make him feel less then? Did he fantasize about revenge, even if it was on the innocent? Did he feel invisible? Did his departure from this earth give him the blaze of glory he was seeking?
Can we as a society be kinder to everyone? Can we acknowledge people and treat them as equals so that no one feels less than?
He may have just suffered a psychotic break. He could have simply been evil. But I want to know. And I pray for his soul.
On another note, fall term at the music center began yesterday. For the first time since I have been there, they are allowing us piano teachers to teach intermediate-advanced students privately! I am so happy! I have taught group piano for 20 years there, but have seen the need for private lessons as my students become more advanced.
I have a little room in the basement.
I love my room! I have always loved basements! At the house where I rent a basement room currently, my roommate's brother affectionate called me the "cellar dweller" the other day. We'll assume it was affectionately. lol.
But look at my room! How cute!
I do share the room. With a plethora of cellos. It doubles as a cello storage room. I don't mind. The cellos are good roommates.
On that note, I am off to teach private students today. And accompany an adult community choir tonight. Immersing myself in music keeps my inner critic and self doubts at bay. Being busy is important for my mental and emotional health. And it keeps the devil at bay.
I believe there is a devil. Just watch the news for an hour.
But I do not want to end this blog speaking of evil. How about my daily hooping video?
This is Day 108. Going strong!
Oh, and now that I am a little less employed, I am having to cutback on my daily Starbucks and lunches out. Suffering is good for the soul!
But I discovered a wonderful morning smoothy from one of my Wheat Belly books. It has a green banana, coffee, unsweetened cocoa, almond milk and a bit of stevia in it. Very healthy and most delicious.
On my less often Starbucks jaunts, I shall just have a black coffee. That will save me about $60 a month!
Packing my lunches will just about equal my pay from my church job.
And the reward? Time with my grandbaby and daughter.
Life is good.
Go out and enjoy it!