I sit here today and stare at a blank screen. There’s nothing in me except sadness, despair and disgust. Who can write a column about Nancy not being able to figure out how to buy Q-tips or tripping up the steps and claiming a broken toe this week?
I just can’t.
Nothing is funny.
I’m still reeling from the shootings in Orlando.
We all are. Well, most of us are, anyway, save for the extremists and homophobes. And I won’t share my column, or my mind space, with them.
Nor will I touch on my political beliefs here. I’m done listening to everyone espouse their vitriolic views masked as political awareness. I’ve read enough nonsense on Facebook lately to last me the rest of my life.
My “unfriend” button is on fire. People, do what Mama taught you: if you have nothing constructive to type, move away from the keyboard. And shut your pie hole.
I’ve taught my children from the time they were cognizant of words other than “poop” and “booger” they are expected to love without boundaries. They are expected to accept the exceptional in every human being and honor differences.
They are expected to never pass judgment on another human being and to this day I expect them to take up for anyone who has opponents who act otherwise. They are to diffuse any aggressive and unfair situation where a bully thinks they will dominate the circumstances. I feel pride when they describe a person to me and I don’t know if that person is black, white, Asian, gay, straight, transgender or Polish.
Descriptive, possibly malignant words are not necessary.
We need to teach our children those words do not make a person. Someone will describe me as loud, obnoxious and inappropriate; would that description also include white, heterosexual, Catholic and menopausal?
See my point?
These victims were gathered in a place they considered a safe haven that securely enveloped and celebrated their lifestyle. They were among like-minded friends and comrades. They were able to socialize freely and without judgment, perhaps the only place they were able to enjoy that freedom.
They were living their lives.
This could have been your son.
This could have been your daughter.
I won’t speak about gun control or background checks or the FBI’s misstep in not following this person more closely on their radar. This dialogue helps nothing. We can pontificate on any side of the issue and it matters naught, because these beautiful souls are still gone.
These mothers will bury their children. They will grieve for them until the day they, themselves, die. These bright lights were tortured and snuffed out for no reason other than their beliefs of life and love.
It’s time to get our sh#t together, people.
When I say live and let live, I mean every letter of that.
We need to truly, absolutely not care about how anyone else decides to conduct their life. We need to shut it down about social groups, skin color, sexuality, religion, and how I eat my Oreos.
Parents, I beg of you, teach tolerance and love at the earliest age. Teach your babies everyone’s soul deserves equal treatment. Tell them to allow everyone admittance into their treehouse.
We all love and we all have the propensity to hate. Let’s teach more love. Let’s practice more acceptance. Let everyone enter. Except the bullies. No admittance to bullies. Bullies: stay out.
Live and let live. Be brave and stand up to intolerance and ugliness.
It can be so easy.
Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at email@example.com.