• loisf21

Calming and Restoring Troubled Minds

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Life can be tough for those who struggle with illness, low income, dissatisfying jobs and relationships, alienation and/or isolation. We all react and cope differently with these situations. On Saturday, Oct. 12th, 2019, Krysztof Marek shot and killed five people in a condo in Chicago. The next day letters were found referring to 'issues with neighbors.' One neighbor explained that Marek's demeanor had changed drastically within the last six months from friendly to 'spooky and unstable' after his finances had plunged into 'deep debt' over the past few years. Two months before the shooting incident, police responded to a situation in which Marek was accused of assaulting the son of one of the victims; they left without arresting him.

It is so easy to condemn Marek as the presiding judge seems to have done at the offender's court appearance when he described the details of the incident, as 'evil on steroids.' Certainly the shooter's actions cannot be excused or condoned, but what do we know about the interactions between the accused and his victims? Very little has been explained about that. How capable are we of intervening when we witness signs of stress, struggle and it's effects on behavior in people? Not very good, it seems. The police did not even arrest Marek for allegedly assaulting someone. That may not have been the best response, but it seems they did nothing to intervene, to investigate, to offer any kind of help or resources to a man struggling and showing signs of anger! Earlier this year, Gary Martin, a disgruntled employee, killed five people and wounded five police officers in a business in Aurora. Unlike Marek, he had a criminal background and should not have been allowed to carry a gun.

What are we missing? Who cares enough, is vigilant enough, and capable enough to detect these troubled individuals and intervene in some productive way that may avert future violence and loss of life? We must do better. It is time for us to invest in more human-based training, one that centers on paying attention to what people feel, what they need, when they are struggling to offer support and solutions. Business results and profits are important but what is more important than human life? These are tough times for many and until we observe, listen, and offer a helping hand, we will witness more and more pain and suffering which lead to increased violence and destruction. We must find a way to improve our desire and ability to support each other in order to calm troubled minds and hearts, especially in those who may act out and wreak havoc in our homes, communities and the world at large!

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