When I looked through my camera lens and took the picture above, I failed to see what looks like an elf's face on the far right of the wood. I had to open my eyes to the details of the print before it came alive.
This is what has happened to me since my last post of 2012. Well, that and the flu, which gave me a lot of television/newspaper/magazine time. I've opened my eyes to anything that will shed light on the reason that we are having more crimes like the one in Newtown.
Today I'm going to briefly list some of the things that I saw, without comment; detailed conversations (please talk back) will come in later posts.
First there was this comic in my Google Reader:
There were articles in the newspaper.
1. One event from Columbus, Ohio, has made quite a splash in the press and on Facebook, about two high school football players who are charged with raping a 16-year-old girl. Last week, an unverified video was released showing one young man laughing about the accuser.
2. In an article discussing the biggest problems our new governor faces, mental illness was #6. "North Carolina's decadelong mental health reform effort has, by most assessments, failed with mentally ill people crowded into adult care centers, local hospitals, and county jails, or put on the streets because there are not enough community facilities." - Rob Christensen, The News and Observer, January 6, 2013.
3. In the entertainment section, there was a note that "Texas Chainsaw 3-D had overtaken "The Hobbit" (see my earlier comments about The Hobbit here).
There was a conversation I had with a friend about how he and his children went to the movies over the holidays. The violence in the movie was offensive to him, but not to his children.
There was the mother sitting across the table from her young son at Whole Foods. He chatted animatedly to her while she checked her phone.
There was a conversation I had with an African-American woman about the culture of the angry white male. She pointed out something I hadn't thought about: White males are now a minority in this country.
There was talk and more talk about guns. Our guns, the guns or lack thereof in other countries, the hoarding of guns and ammunition, our right to bear arms and what it means. There was the idea of building a strong anti-gun coalition to face down the gun lobby, the idea of barring politicians from taking gun money, the discovery of gun legislation buried in the Obamacare bill.
On Sunday morning, I happened on Oprah's Sunday morning show. Marianne Williamson was her guest, and she said three things that struck me. I want to end with them (I paraphrase):
1. We must have a shift from ordering things along economic principles to humanitarian principles.
2. We can't wait for the majority; a small group with a radical idea can make change.
And most important in my mind:
3. When an adult female feels threatened, or when "her children" are threatened, she will not stop until she has remedied the situation.