When I woke up this morning and first saw the news about the mass shooting here in Orlando, I was both shocked and disheartened. I’ve spent most of the day following the story on-line. And finding myself more and more disheartened. It’s bad enough that so many people lost their lives leaving behind so many grieving family members and friends. It’s tragic enough.
But adding to a situation that is already tragic enough, there is a constant hum of rhetoric telling me that we may still not find the sense to deal with the hate and gun violence in this country. What I’m hearing today is that we don’t need to talk about the hate routinely directed toward the LGBTQ community by many of our fellow citizens because “ISIS”. We don’t need to talk about our ridiculous gun laws that make purchasing an assault rifle legal because “ISIS”. What I’m hearing today is that the whole tragedy could have been avoided if everyone else in the bar had been armed and prepared to shoot. So unless we see some major, unexpected change among those who create and maintain our laws, it seems that we will continue to arm more citizens with fewer regulations and that we will continue to promote legislation that aims to discriminate against and validate the hate displayed toward the LGBTQ community.
All of this has led me to conclude once again that human beings, as a species, are too often very bad at developing the qualities of compassion and tolerance that we so badly need if we want a good future for the generations that come after us, if we want a future for our species at all.
So I decided to go ahead and post these images of trees, many of which have been alive longer than many of us. I tend to believe that trees are wise beyond human understanding. Perhaps if we spend more time contemplating them, we can learn something new about wisdom and peace.