Tucson is my adopted hometown. It is where I transitioned into adulthood, fell in love with the desert and mountains, completed grad school, fell in love, married, had a child and on the short list of where I hope to retire. Having lived in the city for 10 years, it became my home and although I have been gone for years, it is still home.
This weekend, like so many, I was deeply touched by the horrific violence that occurred in Tucson. We frantically worried about several dear friends that live in the neighborhood of the shooting. We sadly recognized so many of the scenery photos, having shopped at that Safeway just two years ago on our last visit there. This cannot be our town, the place where we always long for that deep breath of cleansing desert air. But the reality is too raw and real and we deal that horrific violence happens in Tucson just as it happens in all areas of the country and the world.
One of the op ed pieces that I have read in the last few days made a statement that I so hope could be true. The author wrote how this is the opportunity for Americans to “push the reset button”. The author, like several others, has challenged politicians, media personalities, and all of us to rethink and then reframe our messages. This incident highlights how the vicious messages of hate and intolerance has permeated our society and have in so many ways weakened us. We seem to be a society that has created no choice – you either love (fully agree with) someone or their position or you hate them. There is no in between, no middle ground, no willingness to agree to disagree.
Several years ago a major snack food corporation had a campaign “get your own bag” and I recall thinking (and the proactively writing them) how awful that was, we have now reached a point where we can’t share a bag of chips. We can share nothing anymore?
So I hope and pray that this week our nation, and its leaders, will push that reset button. We need strong leadership and strong role models to help us set a new tone for our country, a tone of tolerance, acceptance and compromise. HAVEN slogan is “live without fear” please do your part to help us achieve it.