It breaks my heart to read that there was another police shooting in the news. The saddest thing is- I don't really have to reference specifics, because - as long as you're reading this post, violence is still happening in your world far too regularly.
Can I make one request, and I know we can all do it...before everyone freaks out? Please read to the end, and take it to heart before commenting...
Can we take this time to gain our own composure, so that we can be be more certain that we will never find ourselves on either side of something as horrible as this?
You may instantly say to yourself, 'this would never be me', but, we need to think of these violent acts symbolically. Why? Because we all still participate in violent acts, and who knows how our negative emotions ripple and end up pissing people off to the point where they snap. Yeah, we're that important. Even by not listening to a friend who needs our help or by calling someone hateful words - we are still contributing to violence.
So before we add our own shit to the debate- can we all take some deep breaths, and mourn for the man who lost his life?
In fact, can we feel some empathy for everyone involved, officers, witnesses...families?
Ok. Now, doesn't that feel better?
So, we can say that this officer needed to learn to breathe deep and remain in control of his emotions- but you know what? He never learned that skill, not yet... and now, sadly... a man, who was in some ways innocent, but was in so many other ways troubled - a real man lost his life.
The man himself could have breathed and not resisted... but its no fair to blame someone no longer with us...especially someone with mental health challenges. We can go back to "it is the officer's job to remain in control" - but again he didn't have that skill yet.
So, what can we do?
My wish is that we can all together promise to work on remaining calm, and breathing - in what we consider the stressful situations of our own life. I know remaining calm in danger is one of my most difficult challenges, but I know the more I practice remaining calm when someone simply ruffles my feathers, the more prepared I will be for when I'm really needed to stay calm.
We can only learn from this so it doesn't happen again. Once the world can handle stress with positive coping strategies, we will all be in so much of a better place.
So how can YOU play your part?
Do you have any other ideas on how to properly honor the victim's memory and to remain calm in times of conflict?
Looking forward to learning with you!