By the time I post this, a moment of silence will have been observed for the victims of the shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary one week ago today.
Like anyone else hearing the news last week, I was horrified. I felt sick imagining the terror every parent must have experienced, not knowing if their child was okay. The horror for those who found out their child was among those who did not make it out.
And then I felt disgust.
I felt disgust as I watched my social media feeds light up with arguing over guns and health care. I watched brands and individuals in brand mode go right back to self-promotion, while the death toll was still rolling in.
It’s not that I think everyone must stand vigil the moment tragedy strikes. We have to move forward. That’s life.
But…I couldn’t help but cringe hearing people respond to what happened with hateful arguing. I watched people tell others they “shouldn’t exist” or “should be shot” when they disagreed on guns/healthcare/too much violence in entertainment
I couldn’t help but cringe as I watched tweets acknowledging the loss one minute, and literally pimping a product the next.
I couldn’t help but think that we’ve all grown so accustomed to being heard that sometimes we forget that sometimes we need to just shut up.
Are we such a narcissistic culture that we can’t take a moment to refrain? To refrain from snarky commentary? To refrain from hateful speech? To refrain from self-promotion?
Sometimes, it’s not about us. It’s not about our views or opinions or products.
Some moments in life merit stepping back. Staying silent. Pondering.
And eventually, we go back to our lives.
Hopefully, having learned something.
Learning to have intelligent exchanges, heated perhaps, but not hateful. Learning not everything is open to be mocked or joked about. Learning that everything isn’t about us.
There’s a time to speak. And a time to be silent.