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The capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance. (Merriam Webster on line)

Six years ago, when I finished writing “Mentoring Winners” I had a different view of things. Unbelievably, the world was different. It was safer. It was not confronted with the threat of a possible nuclear confrontation between North Korea and the United States. Moscow was not making insinuations about having an “invincible missile” showing how one of the warheads could reach Florida in no time.

There had not been that many school shootings, no Vegas massacre, or the recent horrific loss of life in Parkland Florida. This latest school shooting seems to have touched the central nerve about the need to protect our children in our schools. At the same time the last shooting has provoked an unprecedented political turmoil in our great land. The use of semi-automatic or “weapons of war” as some prefer to call it. Gun control, the Second Amendment and school safety are dominating the Media headlines. Without a doubt, we are witnessing how divided, alarmed, and frustrated the American family is. Let’s not forget the unimaginable grieve of every family affected by the loss of their loved ones.

From the White House to our dinner tables, it seems the debate on finding a solution is not only the focal point of the Media but it is also the dominant conversation in most homes in America. This was not the case 6 years ago. Violence continues to escalate. In the city of Chicago alone there were more than 3000 casualties last year. The mood from East to West is not an encouraging one. It would seem the streets we walk daily, the shopping malls we visit on weekend and holidays, the movie theaters we visit as a family, the arenas for music concerts and other places that were synonymous of safety and relaxation have now become war zones.

Places that were once the source of entertaining and leisure are now becoming dangerous and scary places to visit. This is happening not in a third world nation; but in what’s generally considered the most civilized country on earth. The United States of America. This was not the case 6 years ago.

This is only one aspect of the social spectrum enveloping this land of ours. Now, finger pointing would not help. We need solutions. Can we as citizens look at our civil authorities, our leaders in government, the army, or our local police or maybe our next-door neighbor for answers?

I like to believe, we as Americans are going to find the way to stop this present madness and regain our posture as a nation. I’m hearing well-meaning speeches and sincere politicians, expressing the sentiment that America always finds a way out. Let me ask the question, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? Do you think the present wave of violence will subside, lets say within the next ten years? We need to answer this question. Why? Because this is the world in which our children and grandchildren will live. This is their home. We as a generation have the moral responsibility to build the gap of a better and safer world for them. I have 4 grandchildren. Josiah the eldest is in College. Daniel in High School. Jedediah just about to go to kindergarten and my little princess Olivia is just one year old.

I cannot imagine the feeling of those parents and grandparents who have lost their children in the recent shooting. It’s just unthinkable for me to imagine myself under similar circumstances. Our young people shouldn’t be looking over their shoulder as they walk or when they take the bus that will take them to school.

On the contrary, they should be waking up with a good feeling as they head towards school every morning. They should be anticipating with joy the meeting with their friends or anticipating with expectation the next basketball practice at the gym or soccer game in the school yard. Your children, and mine have the right to live in freedom and enjoy the pursuit of happiness just like we had. This is their right as endeavored by our Creator.

Carlos H. Lopez

Senior Leader, Paul and Silas Bible Church

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