The problem with a “trending topic” is that it is just that. It is suddenly every where. Saturating media outlets and news feeds for days. Our views become skewed. We believe that the world is ending. We share our deepest secrets. Our innermost demons. Our traumatic experiences. In depth. On public forums. In hopes of changing minds and making a difference. And, then it is gone. Those who have shared are left vulnerable and empty. They are left bleeding and wondering,
Until, the next trending hashtag debuts.
And the cycle starts all over again.
I am not hating on those who take to the ‘gram or the ‘book to share their opinions. I actually have had quite a few thought provoking conversations on social media platforms.
But let’s be honest. Nothing will ever be solved in an online debate. How much energy do we waste looking for the perfect post, thinking of the perfect comment and hoping for the perfect response.
Insert all the “then, why you blogging, you hypocrite?” remarks here.
Because I want to say something. About guns and mental health. And we live in a world where I can hit a “publish” button and share an opinion that a whole fifteen people can read at their leisure.
I am not claiming that I know how to stop these horrific tragedies. Oh wait, I kind of do:
But, since that doesn’t seem to be a realistic concept…
…I will offer this instead.
Mental health care and gun control…the two are not mutually exclusive.
I wish all the trending topics would stop trying to make is so.
Sure there may be an overlap between mental illness and murder. There’s always going to be the exception. There’s always going to be that story:
“if we just would have helped said person, this could have all been avoided.”
And it is worth helping said person.
Yes, our country needs better mental health care opportunities and ability for those in need to access those services. Enter Love Will Foundation. Shameless plug, but hey, if I won’t plug it, who will?
But it is not that simple.
I do not believe that treating those who are mentally ill will stop mass shootings.
But, it won’t hurt.
I am not sure stricter gun control laws will stop mass shootings.
But, I think it could be a start.
I am not offended by those offering their thoughts and prayers in these moments.
But, it is not enough.
God doesn’t answer a prayer simply because we ask. If that were true how many of us would be lottery winners, curer to cancers, or debt free celebrities?
We have to stop thinking that posting our “prayers are with the family” will change the future. It won’t.
We have to stop believing that our social media posts are changing people’s minds. They aren’t.
We have to stop trying to do the stupid-est of shit to “go viral“. Wasted energy.
We need to do the work. We need to shine the light of Jesus Christ in all of our actions. We need to show the power of the Holy Spirit.
Take that burning desire for an online point-making-sesh into the world.
Do something. Anything. That involves making a real difference. That encourages real change. That brings awareness.
We all have our place. Let’s use it.