Sad new normal



To the Editor:

My new morning routine has become this: take a shower, make breakfast and coffee, and then open my laptop and read about the latest addition to our nation’s growing body count online.

Each new name hurts me, but the deaths are becoming normal. I almost expect it every day now, another act of police brutality or a mass shooting.

Perhaps that’s the problem. As a nation, we’ve seen so much death that we’ve become automatons in the face of another tragedy. Many try to memorialize with hashtags, with lists of their names, but America already has moved on to the next tragedy before the tweet can even fully send.

America has become a battlefield for homogeneity, the pursuit of which is outdated, hateful and just unrealistic. This cannot become the new normal.

I am afraid that too many people see the tragedies that are happening every day and feel angry but helpless in the face of so much suffering. If we are paralyzed, the anger we feel won’t be used to make change. We have to stay angry and use that passion to drive our choices.

The truth is, we all have voices and we all can use them no matter how broken the system is. We can vote for elected officials whose value systems align with our own. We can attend town meetings and make sure the people we’ve elected are doing their jobs to the best of their abilities. We can stay aware and be compassionate, and if we keep working, then maybe we’ll see some changes happening in our country.

I think we all can agree on this: there is no person who deserves to die for walking down the street. Or having a taillight out. Or doing their jobs to protect others.

When we make assumptions about someone based on our prejudices and fears, be that based on the uniform they wear or the color of their skin, we are doing them a disservice at best, and at worst, we may have added another name to the ever-growing list of bodies needlessly adding to rock bottom that America is hitting in 2016.

We must be ready to make changes. I’m ready for the violence to end. I’m ready for a better normal.

 

Jane Pappas

Mount Desert

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