Everyone’s business!


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More gun control — absolutely — appallingly, shamefully, long overdue. So thankfully, all-out attention is paid after the horrific Florida high school massacre of 15 students and two heroic teachers. Beloved family members, they are whose loss is felt forever, and the grieving must be remembered and forever supported. And don’t forget grandparents and other kindred often overlooked in our nuclear family society.

And isn’t that one of the problems — the lack of natural support systems?

Kids, especially, too much on their own – ah, but so are their grandparents and other elder kindred. Well, this surely needs ongoing discussion and led by Upper East Side granddad, Sherman Yellen, and as an established playwright, essayist and social critic, can really get this message across,

Ah, we are surely grateful for the new “Kid Power” with nationwide marches and protest and taking “Never Again” to the White House. And may civic actions also become a natural part of their lives.

And related to this latest horrific shooting of innocents, surely the many “missed flags” must be addressed, and not only by law enforcement and the FBI, but by the citizenry. An all-out bipartisan “Get Involved Party” is long overdue, one that goes beyond “saying something” about a suspicious box or package seen on the street or subway. Although it’s much harder to report suspicious behavior of someone we know — and even risky ... and on so-called social media, even a threat about being a professional school shooter gets a pass.

But it wouldn’t if “saying something” were a major mandate — and with little to fear. Students would surely have said more about their classmate’s forbidding behavior.

Ah, the passing of Billy Graham also reminds how often do you hear a Thou Shalt Not Kill sermon? And are faith groups enough involved with members’ problems — or speak of the supportive community found in 12-step meetings held on their premises. Ah, but beware a conventional AA and Al-anon directive which says alcohol abusers must hit bottom all by themselves. Intervention does work, but is too rarely tried – we’ve been so carefully and wrongfully taught in general to mind our own business – not to be our brother’s and sister’s keeper.

And schools sure need to teach communication skills — above all. The conflict resolution kind. Yes, they exist but most lamentably, somehow, they fell out of favor. Faith and mental health should be stressing these “get along, without going along,” rules — and not only to prevent violence.

And yes, this column is all over the place – more than usual, you say? Well, I do have a recovering eye malady, which on Presidents’ Day initially received not only effective but enormously caring treatment from the First Avenue and 81st Street Urgent Care medics. Some doctors and hospitals and nursing home rehabs could take some caring lessons from them. Maybe we all could — for a non-violent society.

As for that bipartisan Get Involved Party, revive we must, Russian social critic, Pulitzer Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s timeless Harvard commencement address mandate: “Everyone” he said, “must make everything their business!” If you remember nothing else from this column ... and It can be done if enough of us try.

dewingbetter@aol.com





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