“This pain in my side is really driving me crazy.”
“Honey, why don’t you take the pain pills that you have?”
“Because the doctor hasn’t determined what is causing the pain. If it gets worse, I need to be able to know it. If the pain is hidden by the medication, I will have a false sense of security thinking that all is well when it really isn’t.”
The above conversation highlights a central belief of mine. Pain is just a symptom of the actual problem; it is not the problem in and of itself. Physical, mental and spiritual pain is our body’s way of communicating that something is wrong. In neighborhoods all across the Country; we see, hear and feel the communications telling us that something is wrong in our societies. And just like the short discourse above between two loved ones, the evidence point to the facts that we are torn between continuing to manipulate the symptoms and wanting to solve the problem.
Think of any problem that you have ever faced. You name the problem; then think about the pain it caused you. Now, tell me if the pain was the actual problem. The answer will always be no. Case in point, you have an inflamed appendix, the pain will be extremely bad and the throbbing will continue to escalate until one of two things occur; you have the infected appendix surgically removed or it ruptures from lack of treatment and without the surgery you will die. Sure, there are drugs which could mask the pain but the inflammation in the appendix will still continue to fester and spread if not addressed.
The same can be said about the societal pains of gun violence. Any violence perpetrated against someone is a symptom of an underlying problem. Sadly after every reported shooting, the people who should be leading us toward the right solutions, try to make us believe that the guns are the problem. Yes, no one disputes that guns can cause pain and death but they are just a tool; one that requires manual assistance to operate. That tool can be used to harm but also to protect, depending on the intent of the user. A case can be made that the user is the immediate problem but even so, the tool is never the problem. Even in the aftermath of a horrific mass public shootings; the gun cannot be the problem and the gun laws are not the solution, though they do help. The misuse of the gun is a symptom of a problem and the laws only cloak the underlying trouble on a temporary basis; until the people find loopholes around them or completely ignore the law altogether.
Thinking back to when I attended junior high school, we had a program which was administered by the local sheriff department. It was called the Junior Deputy program. It was a community outreach program with meetings held once a week after school on public school property. A local police officer would conduct a class on topics of community awareness, civic responsibility and law abiding principals. Part of this program included gun safety, marksmanship and firearm responsibility. Yes, this required us to have our guns on school property and guess what…no one felt threatened or fired a shot at other classmates. How times have changed? The funny thing is that the guns have not changed during this period of time; our society has changed.
So if guns are not the problem, what is problem?
The main problem that needs to be solved is the epidemic of widespread selfishness brought about by our lack of moral values. On the pacifist side, this selfishness can be seen as the lack of moral character that stops good people from standing up for what they know to be right and against the misdirection of the truth. Our business leaders are frozen by fear of upsetting the selfish minority while the truth goes unspoken in the work place. This is also one reason why the right people don’t run for office.
On the aggressive side, it fosters the misguided beliefs that one has been wronged when they haven’t been and because of their inflated self-worthiness they feel they can be the one to extract an inappropriate form of justice. It is this decline of moral values that encourages people to view life as worthless; something easily destroyed. And why shouldn’t they feel this way, our Country has made it legal to abort the most defenseless and innocent of its citizens just because of the selfish inconveniences the pregnancy will place on the mother.
As we work to claim back a semblance of order, the solution has to begin where the damage began. During my school years the public schools allowed religious education classes to be held before or after school on the premises. The teachers were allowed to punish the students if they did something wrong and yes, that included the dreaded smacks on the behind. Everyone; regardless of color, race or creed, stood every morning and recited the Pledge of Allegiance as one. No one even considered not standing for this unifying event. Our school concerts even included faith based music. In other words, we were a community that taught and lived moral and ethical values. As we left school, these lessons were reinforced in the workplace with the Pledge being recited before meetings and prayers being said before group meals.
It is time that we stop trying to fix the symptoms that keep reoccurring and start addressing the real problems.
“You cannot solve a symptom. There are only three things you can do with a symptom; you can ignore, hide, or evaluate it as it pertains to the underlying problem. You can however solve a problem. Knowing the difference is the beginning of wisdom.”
Solving the problem of moral decline will not be an easy or fast thing to do. It will start with our leaders thinking, speaking and acting on the problems not the symptoms. If they are not willing and able, we need new leaders; Solutionary Leaders. The process will not be trouble-free either; just like when you have a pain, it draws all of your attention to the symptom so it is with gun violence. The media, our leaders and even the public are immediate drawn to the symptoms not the problem. It is human nature and normal to do so but we cannot stop at the symptom. It will take the public support for the people of character; a united voice louder than those being misled by the symptoms. In other words, the solution will require a renewed focus on the unity that makes us who we are. The unity that is The United States of America; One Nation under God. When we start thinking, saying and believing the truth again; people will once again gain a sense of service to their fellow man, respect for their differences and show peace toward one another. When we think, speak and act on the behalf of others as a unified Society; we will grow generations of people less likely to intentionally hurt someone, regardless of the tools at their disposal.
If this is my last post, I want all to know there was only one purpose for all that I have written; to have made a positive difference in the lives of others.
To learn more about the Power of the Wisdom of Three checkout the rest of this website and sign up for the future newsletter.
Anthony “Tony” Boquet, the author of “The Bloodline of Wisdom, The Awakening of a Modern Solutionary”