Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Would You Rather...

…be Chief Wendell Flinchum…


…President Charles W. Steger?

This week’s question is not one looking for your answer. Honestly, I’d rather be neither. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in either of their shoes right now, much less over the past 48 hours.

As I laid in bed today dealing with illnesses both of a physical nature (due to viral symptoms), as well as a mental status (due to the tragic events which have hit our nation), I found myself tuned into the live coverage of the Virginia Tech convocation.

It was a nice service; however, only a few moments left me teary-eyed. The first of those moments, and the one that I can still envision, was when President Charles W. Steger was invited to the podium. As the community within that arena rose to their feet and gave him a warm standing ovation, I knew others shared my mindset…

I don’t know that the way university president or chief of police handled the events that took place Monday morning was the “best” manner. I don’t know that had they done something differently, had more lives been spared. I don’t know. But I do know that nothing going on now will bring back the 32 lives that were taken at the hand of the now-passed gunman.

I know that firing a university president and a chief of police will not give those 32 individuals another breath of life. I know that taking the guns out of the hands of every individual walking the soils of our wonderful nation will not bring them back as well.

Amidst of time of confusion and tragedy we are all experiencing feelings. Angry is a typical response; wanting to point the finger. I haven’t heard it yet, but I expect people will start to point the finger at Mr. Cho Seung-Hui’s parents. Why? Who knows. All sorts of “good reasons” could surface. But how is blaming going to help a suffering community?

Maybe President Steger or Chief Flinchum made mistakes. They are as human as you and me. Mistakes take lives DAILY. Mistakes are meant to be learning opportunities, and I foresee a lot of learning coming from this dark situation.

I do not want to be seen as defending anyone’s actions. Maybe they should be fired. That’s not my judgment to make. But I can’t help but think that they are as human as I and the reassurance of their job status is probably the farthest thing from their minds right now.

People died. Let’s grieve that as a community, rather than slowly killing others through our words and blame.

My love and thoughts go out to the Virginia Tech. community! May love and continual blessings be bestowed upon you all.


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