It’s a very rare occurrence when I am speechless.  Today I am.  Last night I participated in the Coast 97.3 Poetry Jam.  A very well attended affair hosted by DJs from our local Urban radio station.  I enjoy these events because I have the opportunity to do what I love.  Last night’s affair was at a different venue but still well attended.  The thing that I love about this crowd is that it is so diverse.  It ranges from the barley legal to the folks that have been around for a while like me and some even older.  What we have in common is love of music and poetry.  I got there early, set up my table with my books for sale and it was what it was supposed to be.  The thing that I really loved about the change of venue was that it was moved to the Community Arts Center which is where we usually hold rehearsals for our plays.  I felt like I was on my home turf.  This is my place.  The place where everybody knows my name.  The evening was great, I sold quite a few books, saw some folks from my home town.  I went to bed feeling content.  I got to share the word of God in a unique way with people who probably won’t set foot in a church this sunday.  I woke up this morning and learned that a young man,  19 years old, who works at the Arts Center was murdered in the parking lot as he was getting in his car to go home after the event.  Apparently he’d gone to get something to eat at a sandwich shop around the corner and when returning to his car was robbed.  He was found by someone who initially thought that he was unconscious.  it was later discovered that he’d been shot in the head.  I wonder what would cause someone to shoot another human being, in the head no less for a few pieces of plastic and strips of paper.  That’s all it is.  Plastic cards, strips of paper with numbers on them, maybe a time keeping device, maybe some shiny piece of metal.  So what?  We, humans, people, have become our own worst enemies.  We allow our wants, our needs, our desires to be dictated to us by what we read in the paper and see on TV.  We let someone else define for us who we are.  Even as I watched the news reports of the young man’s death they gave him a label.  “It appears, according to police that the victim was completely innocent.” I don’t doubt that he was.  He was a nice young fellow, very polite and helpful.  What about the person who did the shooting?  Had he/she been given a label too?  Perhaps poverty-stricken, ne’er-do-well, career criminal.  Any one of those labels could have convinced a young man that he had no choice but to rob and kill.  Listen I’m not trying to defend a person who killed someone else–I’m saddened that someone died for no really good reason and there was someone who pulled the trigger. For every behavior there is a stimulus.  I look at the news and the reports of the economy and how we’re headed for the fiscal cliff and then the commercials come on showing the parents that are watching the news the hottest toy or game that they won’t be able to buy their children for Christmas.  And I don’t even want to get started on the commercialization of Christmas.  It just seems that the quest for the “American Dream” can turn into an American Nightmare!  I pray for the family of the young man whose life was ended senselessly.  I also pray for the person who ended it.  I pray that we all would remember especially at this time of year the things that are truly important are the things that cannot be procured with a few pieces of plastic and strips of paper with numbers on them.


~ by Diva2de on December 14, 2012.

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