It’s been an intense week from an emotional perspective.

We woke up on Monday morning to hear horrid news out of Las Vegas – a shooter, hiding like a coward in a hotel room, opened fire on a crowd attending a Country Music Festival on “The Strip”.  Responses were immediate and intense.

For me, there are three moments in my week that are indelibly burned into my brain.

A Facebook friends posted early in the day on Monday a statement that showed just how angry he was.  He basically said that you had no soul if the incident on Sunday night didn’t immediately turn you into an activist for stricter gun laws.  I understand his anger and frustration.  But not everyone reacts to issues like this in the exact same way.

I found a video that shared the faces of those killed on Sunday night.  It’s the only video related to the incident that I’ve watched.  As the pictures scrolled by, all I could think about was how different they were.  Men and women of different ages and different backgrounds and it’s probably safe to say that they didn’t all think alike about everything and may have even had differing views on things like sports, religion, politics, favorite movies, and so on.  But none of that mattered that night.  They had a shared love for a particular music genre and that brought them all together for this particular music festival.  It doesn’t surprise me.  I’ve frequently seen music wipe away the barriers we build to divide ourselves into groups.

Then there was Eric Church’s performance at the Grand Ol’ Opry.  He had been the headliner on Friday night at the same festival that was attacked on Sunday.  I’ll let him tell his own story in the video below but one thing he said struck me only because I can relate – “The only way I’ve ever fixed anything in me is with music.”  The friend I mentioned earlier?  He responded in the way that instinctively felt right – he committed himself to activism.  For me, my response is much more about talking the issue through with the teens I’m around every day or using music to help process the empathy I feel for those who had a loved one violently taken.

Whatever your response has been to this situation, embrace it.  Act on it.  To force any other reaction is pointless.


How to Cope

It’s one thing to admit that you need to learn some coping skills.

It’s another thing to have at least an idea of what those skills might be.

It’s a completely different, altogether terrifying thing to have absolutely no clue what those coping skills are.

I’ve heard it said that identifying the problem is half the battle. But I don’t feel like I’m halfway to a solution. I feel like I’ve barely taken a step toward a solution.

Don’t care how much work is involved – just need to start working toward a solution.