60 Minutes - Newtown
The recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn., is one of unspeakable horror. The most recent in what appears to be an alarming trend of mass murders in America is, in my mind, the most gruesome -- most significantly due to the tender ages of the victims.
Since the Columbine massacre in 1999, little has been done to secure the safety of our children. Metal detectors, security cameras and resource officers in schools offer little protection against one determined to commit a heinous act. Neither will gun control or tougher sentencing serve as a deterrent to those filled with evil intent. We've put a Band Aid on the problem rather than treat the underlying illness behind the carnage of our people.
I grew up in the 1950's and ’60's, when acts of violence in rural America were a rarity. But violence is only a symptom of a much deeper-rooted problem: for decades, our country has been in a state of extreme moral decay.
We have become a nation of self-centered, ego-driven, rude, arrogant, self-righteous people who have lost all regard for our fellow Americans. We are a nation where power, greed and ego take precedence over decency, compassion and kindness. We have turned away from our religious roots and chosen to live life on our own terms. Some find God offensive - His Commandments obsolete and irrelevant in a modern-day world. "Love your God; love your neighbor as yourself; do not kill." Totally archaic.
We continually violate His laws and are shocked when horrific events occur. That's akin to exceeding the speed limit, then being surprised when issued a citation. Laws are created for a reason and God's Laws are absolute.
We have filled our hearts with hatred. We glorify anger, violence, and the suffering of others as entertainment. We judge and label those struggling with personal demons or who don't meet our standards of excellence. We seek revenge on those who offend us and have become oblivious (and even more shocking) indifferent to the suffering we cause others.
We do what we want, when we want, however we want. If others don't like it, too bad. That's not our problem. Our rights, feelings, and needs override that of others. People must earn our respect and even then, we choose who receives this honor.
We have devalued human life and therein lies the root of evil in this world. We are all God's sacred children, scarred and struggling, but no less precious in His eyes. Who among us was given authority to redefine another's worth?
The massacre in Columbine, the slaughter of 32 at Virginia Tech, the recent mass murders in a movie theater and mall haven't been enough to wake this country up. Will the bloodied bodies of 20 precious babies and the heroes who gave their lives protecting them be the pivotal moment that reminds us to have reverence for all human life?
We don't need to fear the "fiscal cliff". We plunged off the "spiritual cliff" decades ago. It is not our government's responsibility to fix what is broken within each of us. Each individual must commit to resuming a life of high moral integrity.
The keys to preventing more bloodshed in this country are a return to the moral and spiritual dictates of God, to live lives of compassion, kindness, acceptance, inclusion, generosity, forgiveness, and love; to be a reflection of God's presence in this world and treat all His children with the same dignity and tender care He does. Only when love for all becomes the standard measure of a life well lived will we defeat hatred, destruction, and evil.
We are to be healers to one another. With the grace and guidance of God, we can achieve this goal. Let THIS be the new American dream. Return to your houses of worship. Read and live the words of the Bible. Raise your children in the ways of the Lord. Be examples of kindness and love for others to follow.
Rest assured: our precious little angels are resting safely in the arms of our Heavenly Father while we are left to clean up this mess we have made. God help us. We need it.
God gave His only Son so that we may have life. Let not the loss of these babies be in vain. Let their lives inspire us to truly learn how to love.
About Janet PfeifferJanet Pfeiffer, international inspirational speaker and award-winning author is a Fortune 500 consultant, radio host (Anger 9-1-1) and TV personality (CNN, Fox News, Lifetime, ABC and more). She’s N.J. State certified in domestic violence and specializes in healing anger and creating inner peace. Janet's books include the highly acclaimed The Secret Side of Anger and The Great Truth. For more about Janet, visit www.PfeifferPowerSeminars.com.