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An Unblossomed Bloom December 14, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People, Spirit & Ego.

When lone gunmen wander into public places and open fire, we wonder what essential element is missing from their humanity.

Who could knowingly inflict such tragic pain on innocents?
What makes someone want to snuff out life, light, laughter, and love?
How did they become so tarnished, decayed, depraved, and frayed?

Why mow down a field of wildflowers filled with unblossomed blooms?


We could be so much more than we are . . . if Ego didn’t get in the way.

More thoughts on the shooting in Connecticut:  No Optimistic Message (Maggie Madly Writing) * Making Sense of the Senseless (Apple Pie & Napalm) * I Can’t Imagine (Woman Wielding Words) * Dementia (BeeBlu) * I Am The Problem (Crowing Crone Woman of Wisdom)


1. dearrosie - December 14, 2012

I’m glad you wrote about this Nancy. That someone randomly went out and shot small children is so horrifying I feel like throwing up…

I heard on the news that he “had a personality disorder”. Didn’t the shooter at the movie theater in Colorado also have same diagnosis? Oh man….

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

I expect that having a “personality disorder” is a pre-requisite for wandering into a public arena and opening fire on people you’ve never met, who have done you no wrong.

Did the “personality disorder” exist from birth (nature) or the way these gunmen were raised and socialized (nurture)?

dearrosie - December 15, 2012

Excellent question Nancy!

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

Perhaps it’s a bit of both . . . a defect of birth magnified by the way we are conditioned by society to compete for “external prizes” rather than cooperating for the more beneficial “internal rewards.”

2. barb19 - December 14, 2012

This latest shooting of innocent children makes me sick to the stomach. What makes another human being want to carry out a despicable act like this? There is no sense to any of it.

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

The goal behind all goals is “happiness” ~ when we are happy, we want to make others happy.

When people are unhappy and in pain for too long, their perspective shifts. Instead of allowing Spirit to shine like the sun, they focus on Ego.

In time, Ego convinces them that inflicting pain on others will make them feel better.

It won’t.

3. ApplePieAndNapalm - December 14, 2012

Thank you, you’re sweet to think it was good enough to be included. I’m shattered tonight by this act, I keep asking to no one in particular, what makes anyone hurt the innocent. Unopened gifts, Christmas plays, cards with their name included, empty desks when school resumes. Whatever I can do feels inadequate.

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

Your post touches upon many of the issues we need to address ~ gun control, parental guidance, and the jerks in the media who are using this tragedy to bolster their ratings.

Society today is far too focused on status and reputation and applause and ratings and external accolades and attention-getting devices . . . all things that feed Ego, not Spirit.

Those who use Ego as a barometer for action seldom add to the Net Happiness of the world.

4. ericjbaker - December 15, 2012

I’m too sickened and pissed off to be gentle or comforting or thoughtful, so I’ll refrain from saying anything and let wiser people than me do the speaking today.

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

I understand completely. I kept this post short for just that reason.

What is there to say after all?

5. jannatwrites - December 15, 2012

This is an awful tragedy. We can’t protect our children 24/7, but school is one place you trust they will be safe.

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

Life is uncertain.
Bad things happen.

When people listen to Ego, with all its faults and flaws and twisted reasoning, we lose.

6. sufilight - December 15, 2012

Insanity. A rage that pushed them over the edge and made them lose their minds. This is all I can think of.

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

Ego is a toddler. When toddlers are in pain, they throw tantrums. To get attention.

Without regard for who they hurt in the process.

7. Don - December 15, 2012

I just don’t have words. The horror of it all for me at the moment goes beyond understanding.

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

The path we are on as a society has veered off course.

Instead of acting for the collective good, we are trained, socialized, and conditioned to grab for a “bigger piece of the pie” ~ even if others go hungry. We will not know peace until that collective mindset changes.

8. tori nelson - December 15, 2012

It’s hard to fathom what we do to one another. Precious lives ended for no reason at all.

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

In our competitive materialistic society, we measure worth using external yardsticks ~ what we have, our reputation with others, the applause and accolades we receive.

It does not take long for people raised in such an environment to become so unhappy that they long to lash out at others in a futile effort to ease their pain. They hope to add to their happiness by stealing happiness from those around them.

Of course, it doesn’t work that way.

Our happiness grows only when we add to the happiness of others.

If we want to be happier (individually and collectively), we must teach children to use an internal yardstick as a barometer for action. When they realize that the pursuit of happiness does NOT require them compete with others, their kindness and compassion will surface of its own accord.

9. ryoko861 - December 15, 2012

I know, we’re all still pondering the “why” in all this. It’s just unfathomable what and why people do such travesties!

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

I expect that in most cases it’s because they are taught to use the wrong yardstick to measure their worth to the world.

Ego’s external yardstick falsely proclaims that there are two ways to “get ahead” in life . . . build yourself up OR tear others down.

10. Piglet in Portugal - December 15, 2012

Why is a good question…

How…is the question I ask

How will the families of the victims ever recover?

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

There is only one way to recover from the setbacks, challenges, and tragedies of life . . . we must feed the right wolf:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“A terrible fight is going on inside me between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is dishonesty, anger, envy, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, false pride, superiority and egotism.

“The other wolf is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, truth, compassion, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, and light.

“This same fight is going on inside you and every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about his grandfather’s words for a minute, then asked, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”

~ Old Cherokee Legend

Piglet in Portugal - December 15, 2012

You are in theory, but…

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

LOVE is the Answer. No “ifs, ands, or buts” about it . . .

Betrayal by others is a gift which allows us to grow in forgiveness. We betray ourselves by hanging on to the darkness and refusing to let the light shine.

Failure to forgive is like swallowing poison and hoping it hurts the other person. Hanging on to hatred and anger hurts US, not THEM.

When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness. Our hate is not hurting them at all, but our hate is turning our own days and nights into a hellish turmoil.
~ Dale Carnegie

Each act of forgiveness is, of course, an act of love.
~ Lama Surya Das

When you have conquered the enemy within, there are no enemies left to conquer.

11. sweetdaysundertheoaks - December 15, 2012

No words here either. I was so shocked and sad yesterday I hardly moved.

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

We need to change the path we are on . . . and find our way back home:

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. ~ Jimi Hendrix

12. Maggie - December 15, 2012

The more I read about this, the more sources are saying that the kid who did this had a serious mental problem that was not treated. It makes me wonder why he did not get the help he obviously needed. So many tragedies could be prevented if people were given help. It’s a terrible situation for everyone…

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

Perhaps he did not get the help he needed because those around him were distracted by other more pressing concerns ~ like which brand of jeans to buy, whether to get a new car, or where to go on vacation.

Maybe they felt it was “politically correct” not to say anthing by pretending not to notice.

Or maybe they really didn’t notice because it’s a “mental problem” that so many in society share . . . the desire to compete with others for a bigger piece of the pie, rather than cooperating to bake a better pie for ALL of us to share.

13. William D'Andrea - December 15, 2012

Wherever God isn’t wanted, the Devil rushes in and brings all the evil that’s he can with him.

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

I get your point, but would rephrase: When Spirit isn’t embraced, Ego rushes in to fill the void with twisted thoughts and imaginings.

The best way to banish the darkness is to create more Light, Love, and Laughter.

Happy people don’t shoot children.
People in pain do.

14. kateshrewsday - December 15, 2012

Thank you, Nancy. The waves of shock reverberated across the ocean to the UK. Horrendous. I believe something rather controversial: that we go out and work and leave the raising of our children to others, and computer games take the place of people: and one of the greatest human skills, empathy, is disappearing with alarming rapidity. We are breeding and raising humans to be selfish, materialistic and self seeking, to count what is theirs and begrudge what is not.So many of us live a disfunctional lifestyle which seems as difficult to change as it would be to change the moon’s effect on the tides. An event like this calls for nothing short of a prophet to say it how it is.

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

I agree completely, Kate . . . “We are breeding and raising humans to be selfish, materialistic, and self-seeking, to count what is theirs and begrudge what is not.”

This tragedy is not about a single dysfunctional human being . . . it, like other recent man-made tragedies, is much broader than the shoulders of one narcissistic shooter having an existential crisis.

If we want to change the game’s outcome . . . we must review and revise the rules.

15. bluebee - December 15, 2012

So many misfits and isolated minds festering away. Unimaginable pain for the families in Connecticut. Little unblossomed blooms – your image speaks volumes.

nrhatch - December 15, 2012

Thanks, BB. Your poem spoke to me as well. Especially:

his fearful look of surprise
at the countless missing pieces
of his Master Plan,

In the midst of the mayhem, it seems the Master Plan has gone awry.

16. Dementia « beeblu blog - December 15, 2012
17. Perfecting Motherhood - December 16, 2012

You always hear the media say the person was depressed. When did it become the norm for a depressed person to go and shoot on dozens of innocents? How come this happens mostly in America and not other countries? Why is everyone so shocked and yet nothing is done to prevent this from happening again? This is so frustrating and sad.

nrhatch - December 16, 2012

I’m not sure that it does happen “mostly in America and not other countries.” Maybe we’re just more focused on what happens here. On Friday, in China, 23 were injured by a man wielding a knife:


“The attack marks the latest in a series of violent assaults at elementary schools in China. In 2010, a total of 18 children were killed in four separate attacks. On March 23 of that year, Zheng Minsheng attacked children at an elementary school in Fujian Province, killing eight.”

“One month later, just a few hours after Zheng Minsheng was executed for his crime, another man, Chen Kanbing wounded 16 students and a teacher in a knife attack at another primary school in Fujian. The following month, on May 12, a man named Wu Huangming killed seven children and two adults with a meat cleaver at a kindergarten in Shaanxi Province. That attack was followed by an August 4 assault by Fang Jiantang, who killed three children and one teacher with a knife at a kindergarten in Shandong Province.”

“In 2011, a young girl and three adults were killed with an axe at an elementary school in Henan Province by a 30-year-old man named Wang Hongbin, and eight children were hurt in Shanghai after an employee at a child care center attacked them with a box cutter.”

Perfecting Motherhood - December 16, 2012

That’s true, but you can kill a lot more people and faster with a gun than with a knife. I think in China people may be less prone to react to such attacker, because they don’t expect it. Here, the crazy guy with a knife will get tackled down pretty quickly. A couple of years ago in Carlsbad (just north of San Diego), a mad man jumped over the school fence and started randomly shooting at the kids during recess. His weapon jammed and a few guys from a construction site nearby jumped on him and stopped what would have been a massacre. It’s sad Americans are getting used to this type of attacks and are planning escape plans, but at the same time, it’s the reality of our world. And it’s not a pretty world.

nrhatch - December 16, 2012

You can also mow people down with cars, blow them up with bombs, attack them with chain saws, etc.

Gun control will NOT solve the problem. Figuring out how to LOVE one another will.

18. William D'Andrea - December 16, 2012

I was picked on, ganged up on and bullied from the time I was in the 6th grade, until I graduated from High School. I was suffering from extreme depression, but I did not engage in any acts of violence. It’s not that I wasn’t tempted, but I figured that if I did, it would mean that my abusers had won.

I suggest that if anyone of you who’s reading this, knows of someone who’s being abused, let him or her know that he or she isn’t alone; and you are ready to be his or her friend.

Tell whoever it is, “Whatever’s bothering you, I’m ready to listen. I’m not saying that my advice is better than you’d hear from anyone else, but I will listen. I might not give you any advice at all, but maybe all you want to do is talk. If so, all I will do is listen. That might be all you need.”

That might be all we need to prevent another mass shooting. Who knows? Somebody’s willingness to “just listen” might have prevented any number of mass shootings from happening.

nrhatch - December 16, 2012

Good point, William . . . “the first duty of LOVE is to LISTEN.”

19. pix & kardz - December 17, 2012

that was just so shocking, so tragic, and so unnecessary….

nrhatch - December 18, 2012

So very sad.

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