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Lights On

By now, if you're reading this (who is actually reading this?) you should know two things. Thing One - My name is Dwan, I'm a husband and a father. Thing Two - I'm known as The Moon with a "varied" reputation, including one that seems to indicate that I know everything (which I do not nor do I claim to) and/or have an answer for everything (which is closer to true than the former). With this reputation, I come face to face with all kinds of issues from the world around me ranging from "How do I know if he likes me?" to "How does one bridge the gap of peace?" - both are actually pretty easy solves. But there are some problems I do not have an answer to and I really wish I did.

Life, naturally, has its problems. Those can range from "Where is my next meal coming from?" to "How do I start making money from all this damn blogging?" and many more in between. Life in America is tricky in its own right. Whether you're young or old, male or female, Black or otherwise (just because there are SO many ethic groups one can claim, keeping it between Black and White is just generally unfair, but I am Black so I mentioned that one. Don't feel left out!), gay or straight, etc. etc., there is a group of people who, for whatever reasons they have, want to inherently see you fail in the most spectacular way possible. Why is America like this? I'm sure I'll come across this question again and blog about it at that time, but for now, we'll settle on the notion that I have no bloody clue why. Sad enough, it is indeed true.

I remember when I was younger, being the nerdy kid who was picked on for being the nerdy kid with big ears (long before it was cool - which it still isn't), my mother would advise me that when I was getting picked on, chased home, and ganged up on, I just had to defend myself and if I hit them one good time, they'd know I wasn't one to mess with and they'd just stop. I wish this advice and more so this mindset lived today.

Far too often, the average person has a beyond average rage inside them. While I've taken the time to learn about myself and kinda source MY anger issues, I don't understand how this became such a wide spread thing. Almost EVERYONE is just one bad day from full blown psychosis. It's amazing what sends a person from Quiet to Crazy; from baseline to batshit and how quickly the shift comes. It's almost fascinating how the simplest of disagreements can end up in bloodshed. A husband could kill his wife over coffee [Okay, this is fucked up. So I thought of this as an exaggeration. To prove my point, I googled "Husband kills wife over coffee" and I came up with a 2016 case where a 69 year old man named Larry Lotz murdered his wife, Karen, over her mentioning that he left the coffee pot on all day. Apparently there were other factors, including post war PTSD, but damn, you know?]. Or kids killing over candy [ Again, I just came up with the example and decided to look it up. After bypassing a story about Ronald Clark O'Bryan (I didn't look into this, but I'm sure I will), I came across a story about a two teenage boys in Chicago who were shot by Laroy Battle, age 19, because - get this - they mentioned that he was tall, apparently in the 6'3" - 6'4" range, in a store. That was it. According to the witnesses, they didn't pick on him or make fun of him. They just asked how tall he was. He would then follow them home and shoot 2 of the 3 teens. Two later died; the third was unarmed. Nuts, right?]

See, while I was joking, those two jokes were sadly someone's tragic reality. Something as simple as noticing a tall person's tallness, got two young boys killed. What is going on that we no longer value life? I mean, we talk about how "Black Lives Matter" or "Trans Lives Matter" or we argue over the morality of abortion because we care for the Life of the Unborn Child. or we debate Capital Punishment because the State or Federal Government doesn't have the "Right to take a Life" AND YET the population at large doesn't care about LIFE in general. We've become so quick to want to snuff someone's light's out that we don't even consider how to keep someone's light's on! (This is where the title comes from! Thanks for sticking around long enough for the payoff!)

I wanted to originally talk about The Queen's Gambit and how Anya Taylor-Joy just seems to be everywhere and she's killing it and I'm how I'm here for it! But, a short conversation with a friend about the lost of a young protester to gun violence made me ask the question again, "Why don't we value life anymore?"

I didn't know the young man. I've never knowingly met him. I don't know what lead to his death. I don't know if he knew the people responsible. I don't know what kind of person he was, but then you ask yourself, "Does that matter? Did I have to know him personally in order to say 'I wish he didn't die' ?" The answer to that is No. Natural Causes and Freak Accident should be the only ways people die, to be completely honest. Far too often, we're willing to dismiss someone's Life, health, or livelihood over something as petty as common jealousies or differences in personal opinions. We're willing to genuinely hate someone because they look different or worship differently or choose a particular career path. And I'm stuck wondering why?

I think of the story of Geyes' ring. The gist. Geyes (that's homie's name) finds a ring that makes him invisible. He used this power to sneak in the King's castle, sleep with his wife, and murder him, becoming the new ruler of the land. In short, opportunity and more so impunity allowed him to do "evil". Is that our society's issue? Human nature? What is going on that is allowing people the feeling of impunity that is subsequently giving way to a degree of comfort with committing these heinous acts or murder, rape, and deceit?

I really don't have an answer for the problem. Closest thing I got is... love each other. Blindly love each other. Express love and kindness to absolute complete strangers for absolutely no reason and expect absolutely nothing in return, except the expectation of the return of that same kindness. In a dark world, be the one carrying the candles and use your flame to light the way for others to follow. Help keep the lights on.

- The Moon

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