Another mass shooting. In fact, two, because there was one in both California *and* Georgia today. The California one got more news because more lives were lost.
355 mass shootings this year. That’s more than one per day.
I don’t know the motivations of these particular shooters, and there are a variety of news articles pointing to all the various motivations of different individuals.
There is one common emotion involved in all of these shootings:
A happy person generally does not want to kill other people. Once in awhile, sure, maybe someone is happy… but generally, killing is done because underneath all those emotions, there is a whole lot of anger.
Anger at the other person. Anger at the world. Maybe anger at political leaders having put some people in some places, or done something. All kinds of anger.
The internet and 24 hour news networks are two seemingly unlimited wells of anger.
They are endless fountains of anger, feeding off of whatever is happening in the news, tying almost any event of the day to their particular agenda, which is typically geared to get them mad and, therefore, increases your emotions and anger.
The anger is there because it gets eyeballs, clicks, and viewership.
Is all this anger helping the country be happier?
Is that anger helping people who are kind of on the edge, or is it taking them perhaps one foot over, into the area of bad decision making?
Do you give you ratings, website visits, and time to people who specialize in expressing anger?
You can choose not to pay attention to the angry people.
We all can.
Once we stop paying attention to the angry people, they will have to change their method of communication, because they will see anger doesn’t get them ratings and clicks.
We can also choose to not be angry ourselves.
We can choose to be level-headed.
We can choose to smile and have constructive conversation with people with whom we disagree, rather than get mad.
It won’t save the lives of the people already killed. But the more positivity we bring into the world, the more chance the incredible weight of anger the world is carrying right now will be reduced by just a little bit.
Baby steps to less anger.
Maybe your positivity will help offset someone else who is carrying a lot of anger to diffuse the anger slightly. Just enough to prevent the fuse from burning down all the way.
Maybe it’s holding the door for someone and smiling. Maybe it’s waiting at the stop sign. Maybe it’s not posting a link from that well-known angry media outlet on Twitter.
We can control our own emotions. We can be civil and level-headed, even with those with whom we disagree.
Here’s a toast to everyone who can keep a level head. It seems like more level heads – and less anger – would help the country.
I encourage us all to do our part, and not be too angry.
If you have anger issues, talk to someone: preferably a counselor or a hotline.
Let’s help the country be a little bit less angry, and hope that results in less senseless violence.
Because regardless of access to weapons, political or other beliefs, the one thing all these shooters have in common? They’re angry.
Let’s help reduce the anger. It’s at least something we can all do.
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I’m not linking to any of the news reports about this, because alas, the more the media covers mass shootings, the more copycats tend to happen.
That’s a link to a report from PLoS ONE, which is a peer reviewed, academic paper. 100% anger-free, guaranteed!