Friday, June 6, 2014

Words to Live By: MORE and LESS - Week 11

If you are new to my blog, this is what this weekly series is all about:
One of my notepads lists some ways we should live more and live less.  Inspired by this message on Friday, March 28th, 2014 I wrote a post about "Words to Live By."  I decided to make weekly updates to this post, until I start repeating myself!  I promise each weekly update will contain more information than just the five new phrases though!
Readers are invited to use the comment section below, if they have new ideas of "words to live by" which would complete the phrase _____________ more. ______________ less."  
(Any time I use an idea that is not mine, I will credit the contributor and their blog, if they have one. Just keep it family friendly, please!)

Here Are the Ideas for This Week: 

As I begin to write today, the theme foremost on my mind is, “We Need to Stop These Tragedies from Happening” - and I feel so sad.  I'm devastated that the phrases I will be sharing today were prompted by two recent school shootings, which occurred within less than two weeks of each other.  

Forgive me for the somber tone of my words today, and for my inability to even consider including a photo here.  

We must all address this issue though, and try to figure out a way to end this type of violence.

1. Hug More.  Hurt Less. 

  • Raquel from Organized Island  commented last week that this is her new mantra.  She said, “I was greatly affected by the recent shootings at UCSB last weekend, as my son goes to school there.”   I can only imagine her fear for her son and the UCSB community that day.  Adam Nagourney provided details about this tragic event in an informative article published by the New York Times.

2. Love more. Judge less.

  • Jennifer from JENerally Informed left this comment on my blog last week.  I am not sure if her response was prompted by any events recently in the news, but this philosophy would be a huge step towards the prevention of violence.

3. Communicate more.  Misunderstand less.

4. Use our words more.  Guns and violence less.
  • My daughter goes to college in Washington.  Yesterday's school shooting at Seattle Pacific University was just too close for comfort.  My sense of relief that this did not occur at her school was subdued; however, because I was feeling so terrible for the students, families and community of SPU.  We are all victims of these crimes - and we need to figure out a way to stop their occurrence before more people die. 
  • These are the sort of headlines we don't want to read, but in this case a brave act probably saved lives:  1 dead, others hurt in shooting at Seattle Pacific University before student tackles gunman | Local News | The Seattle Times.

5.  Mental Health resources more.  Fall through the cracks less.
  • While violence and mental illness certainly do not always go hand-in-hand, many serial killings may be linked to a mental instability on the part of the killer.  Our country needs to take a good look at our mental health needs, resources, and attitudes. Since this is my blog, I will take the liberty of sharing my thoughts:

  • More mental health services need to be available - affordable, and with easier and quicker access to treatment.  
  • Less stigma needs to be associated with seeking help, diagnosis, and treatment of all mental health issues.  (This goes for all health issues for that matter - there should be no stigma attached to a diagnosis of cancer, depression, diabetes, schizophrenia, ... or any illness!)   
  • Gun laws need to ensure that weapons do not make their way into the wrong hands. 
  • We need figure out how to catch people before they fall through the cracks of our system and ensure that everyone with any form of mental illness gets the high quality of treatment they need and deserve.

I'd like to offer my sincere support and sorrow for everyone touched by these events, and many thanks to everyone who expressed their concern yesterday.


  1. A sad but necessary words to live by this week. My boys and I were talking about this last night, and they have this in the back of their mind every day they are at school. It breaks my heart that they have to worry while they are at school. I don't know what the answer is, but I think number 5 says a lot. Have a great weekend!

    1. I worried about a lot of things when I was in school - but this was definitely not one of them. Improving our mental health resources and figuring out gun control seems so important -- but so is good communication between kids and the important adults in their lives. A conversation like you just mentioned is an example of something working!

  2. Susan this is a travesty what is going on in our society these days...every single shooting scares me more...I am frightened on so many levels; but mostly what scares me is that we become use to them. I agree with you two things that come up after I hear of a shooting is mental health and gun laws... a third thing I think about and it sounds judgmental I know but I think about the shooters parents
    ( i know that sounds terrible) but I can't help myself and being a mom for 5 minutes I also know I don't have all the answers- on a side note around here high school students are pressured to excel and some end up taking their lives from day one I have always told my children that there is always a solution and used it always - to fit in our daily lives; so having said all of that parents today are not our parents - children today are not my generation growing up - with everything that we are expose too, with less discretion, it boggles my mind that these shootings even occur, you know what I mean? I tell my children all the time there is nothing in this world that will shock me please talk to me if anything bothers you or you need to talk if you can't speak to me you have your uncles, aunts, dad and your cousins too.

    so sorry for the long comment...these shootings need to stop,

    I think we need More honesty less hiding


    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your opinion Marisa!
      I agree, I think of the parents of everyone involved - and my heart breaks, for all of them. Sometimes kids don't get the guidance they need and deserve; but, I think often parents are doing the best of everything they know to do, and things still go wrong. You brought up teen suicide - another huge problem. Again - children need to feel supported, good communication is imperative and we need more accessible and better mental health resources and education, with less social stigma for all these issues.
      Your more/less suggestion shows a lot of insight ... I will be including it in a future post.
      Now you have my apology for the long reply! Have a wonderful weekend!!

  3. More treatment, early intervention and support for folks challenged with mental health problems. And BAN GUNS!!

    1. Living in a state filled with hunters, I hear a lot about the complexities of this issue. But, I agree - no one can be shot if there is not a gun in the vicinity. And multiple rounds of ammunition, automatic weapons, etc make it just TOO easy for TOO many people to die. Something has to change.

  4. Another great post Susan. I probably should have expanded and here is a mini explanation. I live in Tucson about 2 minutes away from the Safeway shooting that happened where several were killed and a Congresswoman was seriously injured. I was on my way to that Safeway to buy milk with my children, but got delayed by a phone call and was spared tragedy to my family by God's grace. We lost a dear friend in that shooting and a whole lot of innocence to our scarred little community that day. Prior to that point I had been involved in politics and when the media descended they brought a hailstorm of judgment that charred and burned our community. What we needed at that time was love and healing. When a tragedy happens my point is hold off the judgement for a minute, love more, wait to get all of the facts and truthfully in our case if this young shooter had received the help he needed at so many levels and if we as a society loved and cared more and really watched out for one another we could reduce a whole slew of heartache. Love more ALWAYS, help more, ALWAYS, care more ALWAYS and Judge less.

    1. I thought there was a story behind your words.
      That was such a tragedy that our nation grieved about, and I am sad to hear your community was not better supported. I'm so glad you got that phone call which delayed your errand - but I am so sorry about your friend. I totally agree that we all need to watch out for each other and judge less. Thank you for sharing this - and I hope that your community is healing.
      I think your perspective is insightful and important and needs to be heard.


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