This Isn’t a Blog About Gun Control, It’s About What Really Scares Me….
“This isn’t a Blog About Gun Control, It’s About What Really Scares Me About the Future….”
As most of you guys know I’m preparing to make another epic move forward in a year of epic movements. It was one year ago today that I loaded up my vehicle and headed back to Texas to see my dog Lily, and board my first trans Atlantic flight on January 16th to finally wrap my arms around my future wife, Sunniva. But today that’s not what’s on my mind, perhaps tomorrow…(smiling)
My mind was deeply affected by the election this year for reasons that are very important to point out. I had decided to write out a set of codes to try and live by for one year (and I just bypassed that mark over a week ago) knowing that most of them would stick for life or at least show me the power of what those changes could mean.
Turning off my television was one of the most influential out of those 5 things I jotted down on paper. I recently even shared the sheet I wrote them out by on hand on Facebook, as I was combing over my journals of the last year.
Nobody really knows what it’s like to go out into the wild for a year unless you do something similar. To do a walk about in a country that is not your native tongue and at the very same time go from being heavily connected to media, events, gossip, chatter, and the ramping up of emotions that all of those create was a lot to do at once, but I was up for the extreme challenge.
I got lucky by staying in Sweden because it likely made my commitments much easier to keep, and here I sit able to think about the E-Book project finally that I can honestly write (key being “honestly”).
Television in small doses can be fun. It can be a healthy outlet. By outlet, I mean something that takes us away from the present moment. But like food, sex, and drugs we can also find outlets that are very unhealthy. Both television and social media are one’s you have to watch very closely.
I found the presidential election to be very intriguing to me this year. “On the Eve of the Election” touches on that shift in perspective, as peer chatter or TV ads, or media churning out the latest poll numbers did not influence me. The recognition in November of how much my life had changed by not having television hit me like a punch in the gut during the election night.
Today we are seeing social media, news, and fear being spread like wild fire again after the Newtown shooting and subsequent gun control chatter. My wife, a Norwegian, wrote a great piece after that called “Live Without Fear” event from a female perspective outside the US and since then we’ve observed the United Sates from a pretty isolated (limited media/people’s perceptions influence) vantage point here in Sweden.
The isolation with no chatter, no TV, gives you back your own reasoning, your own common sense seems enhanced…at least in my own experience, and that is the only thing I ever write about.
Gun control. Wow. We’ve had some very emotional threads going in a group we are in on Facebook, we have seen emotions run the gamut since the shooting but more importantly… you see how Facebook has allowed Wallpaper photos and regurgitated images to have this mind numbing effect on all in its destructive path.
It’s times like these I miss the days of a good newspaper, cup of coffee, and discussion with relatives or friends who had varying viewpoints but held such respect, because let’s face it, we were all in the same room and most of you sharing with such emotion if face to face would likely be a bit more toned down…. or perhaps “listen” a bit more.
Yet, I still stand on the side of social media and it’s potential for good but it’s like the Bible to me, we seek what we want to find and it’s there. We seek to our level of understanding and often feel that it’s “absolute.” I won’t veer off the topic too much, but I write with no notes and free flow consciousness. I use the Bible a lot as an example, because it’s a great metaphor in my opinion of how you can attain great wisdom, peace, and understanding about YOURSELF or you can see it as something very scary, something to evoke lots of guilt and fears that energetically get passed on. Some say the Bible is meant to be milk for babes and meat for men…I could write an entire blog on my thoughts about that but I’ll save it for another month.
Point being, Facebook can be a place where I can find real facts, or a friend who dug up something that literally blows my mind. OR it can be a place to pass on things that aren’t true; to re-share wallpaper photos and warnings of privacy notices before you even hit GOOGLE to verify??
I have friends with college degrees that share things that ten seconds of typing on Google where you can copy and past it (the “hover over my name” is one of dozens of examples of hoaxes) and type “hoax” after it and you’ll find out if it’s real or not. The Internet is full of everything. Truth. Lies. Places to discern whether something is true or false.
I have a journalist’s heart, a career I thought heavily about as I’m fascinated and feel responsible to share truth. In most cases, it’s my personal truth but I’m seeking truth in news about the world. Truth in humanity. Truth about MYSELF (see above reference to what the Bible TO ME is really about)
Let me give you a screaming example of why I find some things so dangerous right now on Facebook. I keep my friend list pretty culled down to like minded, interacting friends and family but I can still sense the angst at a Code 4 level today, so felt deeply compelled to share some thoughts from a man very unplugged from society for over a year now.
On Christmas Eve, or Julafte as it’s called here, I went on a walk with my wife just before dinner with the dogs and with a 35 pound training pack I had been using to begin working out the week before (see that experience here), when we approached the harbor area just by the frozen fjord and were ready to take pictures with our camera for our new website, I slipped on ice buried beneath inches of beautiful fresh snow.
An old injury of having my kneecap dislocated reoccurred. I was able to push it back in within 2 minutes and avoid the impossible notion of an ambulance in rural Sweden on Christmas Eve. I’m still recovering in good fashion from that event, but what I MUST TOUCH ON IS THIS…my step daughter the moment it happened according to Besta, ran upstairs calling for “Momma and Jared”
She FELT AND KNEW something had happened. Why? Because we are all connected. They used to call it “mothers intuition” and that’s true because of the deep connection between mothers and children, but we all have that capacity due to the web of energies connecting us all. SHE KNEW. 4 minutes later the phone rang and Sunniva asked her brother to drive down as fast as he could to get me.
The fear that we carry is passed on to the most important thing I believe is on the planet. Our children. You may not even say the words “This is a scary place” or “They are trying to take our guns away” etc. etc. if you are a parent who feels this way, but the children sense your energy of panic and fear. They are deeply affected by this and are the ones we are entrusting to be better than us. The ones we finally hope will see through eyes that are colorblind, a place of hope and not fear, a source of inspiration versus destruction, daring to dream about the possibilities of change..not become paralyzed because of fear passed down by us.
Any parent knows this is our wish for our children. I’m a brand new stepfather and have a little growing baby inside my wife’s belly almost 18 weeks old now. I care about the future we carve out now because I have something outside of myself to care about deeply.
I’m not going to share any statistics, because both sides have great stats on to debate the issue of gun control. I’m just sharing some fears about your reactions and viral nature that is more destructive in my eyes than the guns we are debating about themselves.
We have a philosophy we try hard to live by, and ours is not perfect, but we remind ourselves that Gabi and the unborn child (and others to follow) are effected by our energy, and our gift and greatest lessons to them is to continue working on us, to be honest, to be open, to seek truth and by doing so they witness those very things.
I have no set beliefs about Gabi owning a gun or not. My wife may, but it’s not something I think about. What I think about, is the responsibility and wonderful power that we get as parents and citizens of the world to SHOW THEM through our thoughts, words, and deeds that the world can be a wonderful place.
There are stories like that of Vivienne Hart who decided she wanted to end child slavery. Now this may sound like a naïve gesture to the cynic, but it’s the kind of hope and passion and drive that we want our children to see. It doesn’t make the news, it’s not sensational but my god is it inspirational.
This year abroad has taught me more than I could ever touch on in blogs, but I wish that people somehow could be forced to live one full year in a country not your own with a language not your own, to appreciate how alike we are and to perhaps open your mind a bit on prejudices we grow into with our natural environment and conditions.
I wish you would turn off your TV for a year like I did and just journal briefly once a day, to see how your thinking changes. One year may seem radical, try one month. Music, hiking, painting, playing with my step daughter, building and designing a business with my wife are all things I got to do this year with no television. I also didn’t get too angry this year during the election and all the hype of dissention and desire to divide.
Media wants to keep you divided. Social media can if you let it. We drive the social media change and that’s one reason I so gravitated to it early on, was the personal power of expression, the personal power to find real news, real music, and share it with the world.
The dirty side of the coin is the same power is there to spread fear, false information, and angst about things that likely got you ramped up after a day of watching the news, water cooler talk at work, or chatter amongst friends.
Research, research, research. It’s amazing how great the resources for real information are. From the Wal-Mart not selling ammunition frenzy to the use of “banning all guns” you are seeing viral frenzies right now on our Facebook feeds.
Wal-Mart ran out of ammunition because of people’s “fear” that they would not be able to get more, and after Newtown if I were part of the PR Department of Wal Mart I would err on the side of caution before restocking heavily to appear I’m profiting off a tragedy. Isn’t this just common sense? Some feel Wal-Mart is somehow defying rights of the gun owners.
The argument going back to our founding fathers about citizens being equally armed I also find so weak. Yes, they had muskets at the time and had valid reasons for expressing some of the early founding views on our right to defend ourselves from tyranny. Some are saying we could use more high capacity weapons in the country (responsible ones at least) because our government does. TWO THINGS strike me here.Do you really believe in your heart that the United States of America is about to turn on you? Do you? (For those spreading the arm up message) And if you want to go toe to toe don’t we then get the right to tanks, mortars, and even nuclear weapons? Hmm. I’m baffled by that argument as well, where does common sense lose itself in these emotional exchanges we see.
Yeah, I’m grateful for this year of solitude and what it allowed me to learn about myself…already a man deeply seeking to do just that but always blinded a bit by the drone of distractions that TV, bright lights, gossip, can do to ones mind.
I’m not a political analyst and I’m not a professional journalist. I am a dad to be, and far more central on issues than my conservative friends back home probably believe. I think you should be able to own guns.
But the fear of having dialogue about mental testing, or stricter methods to purchase, and/or the assault rifle issue is scarier than the guns themselves. Let me say that one more time, because I think it’s important THE FEAR OF HAVING HEALTHY DIALOGUE ABOUT GUN CONTROL IS SCARIER TO ME THAN THE WEAPONS THEMSELVES because its indicative of ones mindset, mental notions about the world.
As my new family embarks on a journey to test waters in the US, I look forward to seeing more writing from my wife as she observes US cultures from a European, Norwegian set of lenses. I’ve done all my breakthrough writings this year and the “Lessons from Abroad” project because of new eyes in a new part of the world as I set out to stick to a simple code of life.
My concerns, if you want to call them that today, are more about me waking up a better shade of me. They are working on my 4 year old and her natural boundary pushing that they do at that age. They are how to launch a successful marketing campaign and pull of a business launch with a pregnant wife (contingency plans are in effect but that’s another blog for another day) They are how to get meditation in twice a day for 15 minutes, because every month of my life I’ve done that the world’s problems and most of my own just disappear. I want to keep learning about my own nutrition and our food supply. I want to learn about the pet food industry.
I do want to be informed on global matters, news that is current and relative but I want to do it with a balanced approach and sense of peace that comes from the area I get such deep control over. Peace within my own heart.
However the gun issue goes in American is far less important to me than the issue of fear in the hearts and minds of so many that I think can be minimized by turning off the TV, hiking outdoors, spending time with animals and children and keeping our eyes on the things that unite us.
It’s not naïve to think that these simple insulating changes will then bleed out to our communities, our schools, our states, our countries, and our world…