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Just a Thought

Published on: January 20, 2016

By JASON MARTIN

It will never cease to amaze me how much things can change in a day. Now you add six more days, and everything is upside down.

I have several friends and family facing minor and major catastrophes. Some are facing incarceration, some are forced to have a better understanding of mortality. And then there are those who simply have to sit on the sideline and cheer with a fake smile, encouraging a loved one to fight, while part of you is dying on the inside with them. Details are not necessary but their privacy is.

An easy way to tie this into to a problem facing this country is whether or not a particular group deserves more sensitive treatment than another. Frankly, I couldn’t disagree more. All lives matter. It is embarrassing that those in the spotlight, with the ability to make that clear, ignore their obligation to do so. I will go a step further and suggest that it is intentional.

As a very basic example, if the guy down the street and I are constantly arguing over who deserves to get their newspaper or mail first, or the garbage taken off the street first, we lose sight of the notion that we both want quality service and to be treated like we matter. Instead of contacting said service providers as a united front to get what we want, we make a bad situation worse. Apparently the Golden Rule only applies when it is convenient.

To be clear, I respect police officers and their purpose. They exist to protect and serve the community. When that privilege is abused, it is more heinous than most crimes committed by those who offer no respect to society. We place trust or should be able to place trust in those who have sworn to protect us, but when that trust is broken it is hard to regain.

So, yes, I am upset when a teenager running away from an officer is strafed with 15 rounds in the back. That is absolutely absurd. I am not angry when someone is mortally wounded because they pulled out a firearm when told to get on the ground, I am disappointed. I am disappointed because someone made a poor choice with a permanent consequence and another’s life will be haunted forever.

These problems are real and relevant in any walk of life and should be better addressed. Becoming involved in your community has endless possibilities. Those efforts to become involved have a cumulative effect in reducing incidents like those the media feels so determined to shove down our throat. I wonder at what level the decision is made as to what gets aired?

Regardless, there are so many people who don’t have family or friends to stand in the corner while they go 12 rounds with cancer or to be there when their time is served and to tell them life is what you make it today, not yesterday.

Taking a couple of seconds to look at where other people are coming from can earn you some of the greatest allies you will ever have. It’s just a thought.

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