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Thoughts and Prayers Are Exactly What We Need
Thoughts and prayers are not keeping us from solutions to problems. They are the only true beginning to real solutions for the problems that ail our country.
One of the more disturbing developments in recent years is the growing attacks on thoughts and prayers in the wake of tragedy. More and more people are shouting that thoughts and prayers are “not enough” in the wake of tragedy. Many are also doubling down on the idea by calling thoughts and prayers an excuse to do nothing. This assertion not only strikes me as wrong-hearted but fundamentally in ignorance of two honest observations.
Firstly, those who attack thoughts and prayers ignore the necessity to grieve and the resolve that arises in the hearts of those who mourn. Offering thoughts and prayers provides a message of unity and compassion. It’s a unified message that the victims of tragedy do not stand alone. The time where we offer thoughts and prayers is a time where we can set aside our petty differences and unite in mourning.
Further, it has often been my observation that those who offer heartfelt and fervent thoughts and prayers are the ones who arise from their knees, wipe the tears from their eyes, and provide the most energetic actions towards the support of others.
Mocking thoughts and prayers mocks the humanity of those who are overcome with the grief of a heart-rending tragedy. It mocks the natural response of caring, faithful citizens. Quite honestly, it boils my blood that anyone would mock or belittle a quiet, tearful prayer, a lit candle in the window, or messages on social media that are, for once, positive, supportive, and contemplative.
Secondly, the attitude of mocking the thoughtful and prayerful is yet another example of the degradation of what holds us together as a society. It is a manifestation of our nation’s rotting core of community and brotherhood.
Ultimately, it is a demonstration of the same societal decay that is itself responsible for the lost souls of those who not only perpetrate horrible crimes, like mass shootings, but who resolve to end their problems by ending their life or escaping their hollow realities through substance abuse.
We need a more thoughtful and more prayerful society. If we are ever going to get to the bottom of what is causing people to grow so cold in their hearts to kill others or so fallen from hope to kill themselves, we must rediscover the compassion and empathy that can alone save our families, our communities, and our nation from abject dysfunction.
Thoughts and prayers are not keeping us from solutions to the problem. Thoughts and prayers are the only true beginning to real solutions for the problems that ail our country.