Who do we want to be?

While I try to stick to the topics you would expect in a professional blog, there are times when I can’t ignore the events we all witness. Whether they are joyous or tragic, they all leave a mark on us. Last July Icanstockphoto6283939 wrote about marriage equality sharing the story of my Aunt Dorothy.

During the fall as a US presidential candidate repeatedly talked about building a wall along the Mexican border, my post “Build bridges, not walls” was a message about the importance of embracing diversity. In that post, I quoted a church hymn that really struck home for me. “Our World is One World” by Cecily Taylor included this verse:

Our world is one world, the thoughts we think affect us all. The way we build our attitudes, with love or hate, we make a bridge or wall.

I closed that post with this statement: “Let’s continue to work together to build the kind of world we want for our children and grandchildren and generations to come.”

My fourth grandchild is due next week. I look forward to holding this new baby and welcoming him into our family. I am busily crocheting his baby blanket trying to get it done in time. While I crochet at night, I watch hours of television news about the worst mass shooting in US history – 49 people were killed in a gay nightclub, a place they considered safe and welcoming.

My maternal grandparents were born in Slovenia and came to the United States as immigrants in the early 1900’s. My grandfather was one of 11 children. One of his sisters had 10 children; two of her sons and one of her son-in-laws were rounded up and executed along with 30 others in their Slovenian village by the Fascists in 1942. They were my mother’s cousins. Their children are my second cousins. My brother and sister-in-law recently visited Slovenia and this part of our family. They shared stories and pictures from the many small villages of that beautiful country. Through those stories I learned of the atrocities my relatives back in the “old country” experienced.

If your family immigrated from Europe you too may have a horrific story. If your family immigrated from another part of the world, there may be equally horrific stories or worse.

This week we are grieving for the families and victims in Orlando. We are standing with the LGBT community and with our Muslim neighbors and colleagues.  We must stop the hate and the violence. That is not who we hope to be.

Like other health care workers, I am required to go through training about how to deal with an active shooter situation. There have been numerous shootings in hospitals targeted at an individual. But how do you train people to deal with someone who has an automatic weapon? As another presidential candidate has said this week, weapons of war do not belong on our streets.

We need to stop the violence and hate, ban automatic weapons, and take measured steps on gun control. This violence and hate is not who we intend to be as Americans. For my entire professional career, I have worked in health care; we take care of people and we save lives. That is who we are – a welcoming and caring people.

8 thoughts on “Who do we want to be?

  1. Rajat on said:

    This world seems to be carrying a lot of burden. Burden of hate, violence, greed and what not. I fail to understand- why the gun industry still flourishes in US, why it was not banned after the first shooting or the second or the third… what will it take for this world to value life more than money? Reason getting silenced by religion, hatred in the name of God, man’s ignorance knows no bound.

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Rajat, You ask the right questions. With the Senate willing to hear several bills after Sen. Murphy’s filibuster and the AMA calling gun violence a public health issue, hopeful the tide is turning.

  2. Karen Hollingsworth on said:

    Well done Sue – this is not where we want to be as a nation I am convinced as well. The fact is that as a nation we have not made any change means we are willing to tolerate these horrific events. Insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Doing nothing – making no changes – is what brought us to this place. We will not have different results until we have the courage to try. We have an obligation – for our grandchildren.

  3. David Muntz on said:

    I appreciate your comments and the courage with which you share your thoughts each week, but especially this week. The events you described and those reported all too often in the media have directed our focus once again on the need to heal our planet. We are all injured jointly and severally by the people who use weapons, whether they be arrogance, assault rifles, accusations, or hateful talk to further the causes for which they believe there is only one acceptable and universally applicable version of the Truth. If only they could convert their misplaced passion to compassion, their selfishness to selflessness, their attacks to acts of kindness, their tirades to tolerance, their prejudice to understanding, and celebrate the diversity of all individuals and communities, our world could heal.

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Dave, thanks for the feedback on this post. It was one of those I just had to write. Healing is what we all need to do, very well said!

  4. Sri Bharadwaj on said:

    Once in a while, reflecting on happenings that affect our lives as people, is probably one thing we technologists forget! Great post.
    Debating gun control politics and presidential elections aside, what we are doing to each other as human beings in the short span of 80-100 years we live, in this ever changing world is sometimes exasperating. Just imagining the nurses, doctors and various clinical providers who were called in to attend to some dying patients in the early hours of the morning is tough to fathom. All this due to some erratic behavior, affects not just the lives of those directly impacted, but hundreds of others. Thanks to those who serve in healthcare.

    • Sue Schade on said:

      Sri, health care workers and first responders do see the worst yet do their best to treat critically injured victims and save lives. They can be a powerful force in saying no more to gun violence. I’m encouraged by the AMA statement on gun violence being a public health issue.

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