Friday, December 19, 2014

All Lives Matter

Photo of a police officer, Boston, USA
Photo of a police officer, Boston, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Incidents involving law enforcement officers and suspects have been prominent news stories during 2014. Recent incidents have brought protestors out into the streets blocking traffic and impeding the flow of commerce. In the Nashville area, protestors have even held "die ins" at local malls making it difficult for Christmas shoppers to navigate from store to store. The chants of, and signs proclaiming, "Black Lives Matter" are popping up everywhere.

On Monday, I put forth a challenge to my Facebook friends. I challenged them to pause and think about what life in the U.S. would be like if we took the attitude that "All Lives Matter". Before I go any further, I'm sure someone is gonna take this article as me trying to downplay or dismiss this idea of "Black Lives Matter". I am not. It's just that I don't think that goes far enough.

For instance, after putting the challenge out on Facebook, I took it myself. Here's some of what I came up with :
  • The 17-year-old high school junior who just found out she's pregnant. She's been an A student and had dreams of law school and a great career. Now, she's worried those dreams are slipping away, because she will have to focus on raising a child. She's been with her boyfriend since she was a freshman. They made one mistake by "foolin' around" and now her parents are mad at her and her boyfriend wants her to "just get rid of it". Her life matters. Her baby's life matters.
  • A 58-year-old factory worker has been out of work for a year after being laid off. He had been with the company for 30 years and was looking forward to retiring at the age of 60. He and his wife were counting the days until they could relax, travel, and spoil their grandkids fulltime. Now, no one wants to hire a 58-year-old and his savings is about gone. His life matters.
  • Iraq war veteran returns home after catching some shrapnel from an IED. He's suffering from severe PTSD after watching several of his buddies die to that same IED. His wife didn't wait on him and has left. He's all alone and an emotional wreck. His life matters.
  • The police officer who just chased a suspect down a dark alley. The suspect jumps out of the shadows surprising him, knocks him to the ground, and wrestles the officer's gun away. The suspect now aims the gun at the cop and the cop tells him, "I have a wife and two small children. Don't shoot me. Just go." What will the suspect do? The cop's life matters. His wife and kids lives matter.
  • The 18 Americans who will suffer and slowly die today because the life-saving organ they need does not become available in time. Their lives matter.
  • The 16-year-old teenage girl who runs away from home because her home environment is so bad and turns to prostitution to make ends meet. Her life matters.
  • The politician who you strongly disagree with on every issue and simply seeing their name, campaign sign, or hearing their voice makes you ill. Their life matters.
  • The homeless man you pass on the street everyday walking to and from work who always bugs you for "your spare change". His life matters.
  • The 8-year-old girl who's out playing in her front yard and gets struck down by a stray bullet from a gang-related drive-by shooting. Her life matters.
  • The single mom who finally got the nerve to take her two kids and leave her abusive, alcoholic husband. They were high school sweethearts. He's the only man she's ever loved, but he can't keep a job because of his drinking. She's tired and doesn't want the kids seeing his mistreatment of her anymore. She has moved in with her parents and now must find a job to support her kids. She hasn't had a job in 10 years as she's been a stay-at-home mom. She's scared. Her life matters. Her kids lives matter.
These are just a few. I'm sure my readers can come up with more such scenarios. My point here is very simple - we need to get away from the idea that this life or that life is anymore important than another. God loves us all equally, and we are all precious to Him.

Let's try something - let's replace the hate with more love and respect for each other. This goes for me, too. If we can do that, can you imagine how different and how much better life would be in the U.S.?

The truth is that "All Lives Matter".