Current weather conditions

Click for Dexter, Iowa Forecast

Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



We are fortunate to live in a fairly peaceful place as Iowans. Once we get the hang of driving in winter conditions, which seems to be something some in this state need a refresher course on, we can pretty much go throughout are day to day lives with little thought to worry about what goes on in the world outside our communities. Perhaps that is why the worry lines on my forehead continue to grow a little every time I turn on the news or pick up a newspaper to see what is going on in the outside world.

This past week we were all somewhat shocked by the school shooting in Florida, and in reality if we weren’t we should be. I think sometimes we become all too accustomed to what we see every day on the news. Another homicide, massive car pile ups, talking heads blurring the lines between what the truth really is and what special interest they are championing that week. All of it starts to make us a little tone deaf to things that should cause us to feel more than just the normal. We have become so desensitized to all of it that it doesn’t seem as though anything phases us anymore.

I remember the first time I ever witness a dead body. I was around fourteen I think, and I remember walking into the funeral home to see the deceased up front of the room bathed in that soft pink light that they use to make them look more alive. I’m not going to lie one bit, it really startled me and in some ways made it more terrifying than it actually should have been. In that first shocking moment I began to panic. It was a normal reaction to the situation but one I soon got over. A few years working in the funeral industry and attending more than my fair share of funerals, now attending a visitation or a funeral really doesn’t bring much emotion to me other than sadness for the loss of someone important to me.

I think in a way we have done that to our children as well. Oh sure, we aren’t dragging them into funerals all the time, but have you ever sat and flipped through the television and counted the number of shows predicated around death? Between your CSI/Law & Order dramas and your walking zombie shows when you add in the number of movies that have violence in them, how can we as a society not be numb to what takes place? Another shooting isn’t about to phase anyone who isn’t directly involved and it should! It should make every single one of us angry that not only do we no longer take for granted being safe in places we should be, but also because we have started to make our young people numb to the fact that life matters. When the first thought of any human being is that I’ve been wronged and the only answer is to take a life, then we have failed as parents and as a society. It’s much more than a mental health issue or even a gun rights issue. It’s about each and every member of our country understanding that the road to violence begins when we don’t pay attention to the things that should anger and shock us anymore. It is when we become complacent in our morals, values and in teaching our young people a sense of pride and community that there is no way to live in a safe and open society.

Unfortunately, the change that needs to occur won’t happen overnight. Like a leak in the roof that you don’t fix until the plaster is falling down around you, it will take time to reverse the course we are going down. It’s not too late, but without action it will be. See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.