Reflection on Orlando

Its my blog, I can write what I want. Doesn’t ALWAYS have to be martial arts related!

June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Florida.

A man whom I refuse to name walks into a gay night club with an assault rifle. Shots ring out, panic spreads, people run, pray, hide, send messages to loved ones whom they will never see again.Bullet riddled bodies lay motionless on the ground. Over three hours later, the violence finally ends.

In all, 49 people are killed, 53 are injured, many in life threatening condition. The gunman, allegedly a closeted homosexual himself, is also dead. 1 police officer is struck by a bullet to the head, but thankfully survives because of his personal protective equipment.

There are dozens of theories, hundreds of questions but only one is prevalent in most people’s minds: Why? Why did someone with alleged links to the community take such a drastic action to cause hate, panic, fear and death? Why did this have to happen? Why here? Why now?

Of the many theories, I have developed my own which many have taken to at least parts of. This man was lost. He lost himself because of who he was and because of what his family and religion demanded of him. He was troubled, suffering from extreme depression, the loss of his family (which was mostly his own doing) and the conflict deep within him…be himself or be what everyone expects him to be. This conflict carried over to his personal life, ending his marriage in an abusive fashion. It caused him emotional trauma, knowing that he had let down himself, his family and most importantly, his God. So (and here’s where it gets weird) in an attempt to redeem himself in his faith and his family whom had turned him away because of being gay, he attacked what he felt was the source of his internal struggle. Somehow, even though having been investigated twice by the Federal Bureau of Investigations for terrorist related events (which even then may have been caused by this internal struggle and not actual extremist beliefs) this man was able to purchase an assault rifle with enough ammunition to end 49 lives, bring 54 to the brink of ending and cause a lifetime of heartache and sorrow to thousands of people.

The dark side of this is that lives ended. Even darker than that are the people who support this action, and those who would use such a catastrophic event to further their own political agendas (Donald, I’m looking at you, bro.)

Thankfully there is a light side. During all of this pain and suffering, people have come together. Gays, straights, black, white, Christian, Muslim….any other label that society forces on people….have come together to donate blood, to provide assistance to the victims and their families, to pray. Pray for the victims, pray for their families, pray that this level of hate never happens again. Oh it shall, because of a point I will make below, but regardless of titles or labels, people have started to come together and show support as one human family. Even in this dark day, human spirit, compassion and love can still shine on as a light towards others.

Now I said I would explain a point below. This is my view on people in general. I see the world not as black, white or brown, as Westerners and Easterners, as male or female, gay or straight, Christian, Muslim, Jew or any other creed, race, political view, sexual orientation or any other “dividing” factor. In my world, there are two types of people:

and Not Assholes.

If you’re an asshole, it doesn’t matter what labels you put on yourself. There are asshole straight white men. There are asshole Asian Muslim females. There are assholes of every shape, size and colour. If you are an asshole, then I shall treat you as such.Likewise, people who are not assholes also come in every form. There are black Atheist males who are not assholes. There are lesbian Buddhist females who are not assholes. I don’t care about any labels that society places on you. A good person is a good person, not because of whats on their skin, or who they love, or who they worship, but because of the kindness and love in their hearts.

Many, many people who suffered from this tragedy were not assholes. They were every day folk like me and like you. People who loved, and were loved. People who had a bright future, who had overcome many hurdles in their past and were just trying to enjoy their present.

This is a horrible day, but if we can take anything from it, it is simply this:
Love. Love people. Love your family, your friends, your partner and everyone you meet. Love people who don’t necessarily deserve it. Love people regardless of the labels and whatever social stigma those labels bring. The Christian faith (and many others, but I don’t have exact quotes from their holy doctrines) says one thing that has always stuck with me. Love thy neighbour as thyself. Remember that your neighbours are black, white, brown, gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, Jew and every other label that exists.

Love one another. Don’t give into hate. You don’t have to love everything about everyone. You don’t need to accept everyone. You just need to see that everyone has, as our Charter of Rights and Freedoms says, the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of the Person.

Love one another. And if you’re an asshole, look deep inside yourself and ask, why am I an asshole? Is there an need to be an asshole? And how can I stop my assholish ways?

Happy Pride, everyone.




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