Friday, December 14

There is always something to smile about.

I was so excited to sit down and write about all the excitement of our yesterday.

Then I woke up and had a news alert on my phone:  Shooting in an Elementary School, 20 maybe more children dead.

Suddenly, all my excitement about yesterday didn't seem as important anymore.

In situations like that, I always try to feel and understand what it would be like to be any one of those teachers, children, parents...or even the killer.

I told Brent about it and he asked "Was this in New Zealand?"
I laughed and said, "Of course not Honey, it's in America."

I don't know why that's even okay to say that.  What is happening America?  Why do things like this even happen?  Why do children have to take the brunt of the downfall of a society?  Why are human lives no longer valued?  Where is basic human morality?  I just feel like the greatest nation in the world, has lost what it was built on long ago.  This isn't about the 2nd Amendment, gun laws, government control, or health care, this about valuing real human life.  I really believe that this is the consequences of a system that has failed us, and will continue to do so until we change it from the ground up.

Parents should not be afraid to leave their kids at school, not in America.  People should not feel so unloved, so hopeless, that the only way that they can cope with their burden is by taking another life or lives, as theirs has been taken away a long time ago.  People should not have to live the rest of their life knowing that their child will never give them another hug, a kiss, never go on a play date, never be taught how to read and write, or sing, never to say goodnight to, never to see barely make it through adolescence, acne, boyfriends and girlfriends, never see their son or daughter get married, or even have a child of their own.  No one should ever have to go through something so horrible.  I pray for all the people in Connecticut, all the families of those that were lost, the children that did not make it, and the children that did.  No child should have to see a sight so horrible and a fear so great, that their lives will probably be affected forever.  I pray for the families that may not have a life after this, and for the killer's family, that they can forgive.  I pray that we call can find forgiveness in this time of hurt and for the relief of pain, suffering, and sadness.

Since we've been in New Zealand, we have made some really genuine, amazing friends.  One of our friends is a young digital music composer.  I've realized that we can learn so much from people not even that much younger than us.  Brent and I have made a mutual observation, the Kiwis are really intelligent people.  The greatest thing about this country is it's beauty and it's ablility to sustain itself.  Most people that we have met here that are foreign all agree that New Zealand is probably the best place to be in the entire world during this day and age.  The city that we live in, Dunedin, was named the safest city in New Zealand.  In my humble opinion, if it's the safest city in New Zealand, then that probably makes it one of the safest cities in the world.

Before moving to New Zealand, Brent came across a survey that ranked cities in the world using an International Quality of Life scale.  Auckland, New Zealand consistently made it in the top 5 cities in the world.  How many cities in the United States do you think made it in the rankings?  None.  Zero.  Not a single one.  The most definitive factor that prevented any American city from being ranked was the crime rate.

I come from a city, Little Rock, that was again ranked in the top 10 most dangerous cities in the United States.  At first, I really didn't believe it.  Then I remembered that while we lived in Little Rock, both Brent and I's cars got broken into 2 different times, in the same week.  I think when you live in that kind of environment your whole life, or even for just 4 years, you become desensitized to it.
Let's not desensitize ourselves to reality because our realities can be changed.

The Kiwis have essentially no hard drugs on the streets.  And if so, it is a very very small population that participates in it.  We learned from our friends that they are extremely innocent people, and have passed on this innocence to their generations to come.  Our friends see pseudoephedrine as a dangerous substance and Adderall and cocaine as death.

I want our children to have that kind of future.  An innocent one.

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