There’s a chain reaction that is started by an act — be it a loving one or one fueled by hate — and that chain can only be broken by an opposing act.
A kink was introduced into America’s latest chain when yet another mass shooting occurred Sunday night.
The Las Vegas shooting killed 59 people and left 527 injured. While debates swarm around the event about terrorism, gun control or politicians’ reactions, the important thing to remember is that these were innocent people killed without being provoked.
This horrific event is enough to bring concern to anyone. People have been voicing concerns about going to public events or venturing outside for fear of becoming unexpected victims in the next tragedy.
But fear cannot become a defining characteristic of society. While the concern is warranted as mass shootings continue to occur across the country, by giving in to the fear they cause, we — the average Americans — supply the perpetrators of these incidents exactly what they want: terror.
There are ways, however, to counteract that fear and hatred. Thoughts and prayers are one thing, vigils and memorials are another, blood donations are yet another, but concern for another is the most important.
After Sandy Hook, after Pulse and now after Vegas people need to come together and remember we’re the same. We all have blood pumping through our veins, we all have hopes and dreams and goals, and we all have somebody that we care for and who cares for us.
Hate is an easy emotion to feel, particularly after senseless violence, but hatred isn’t going to change anything. Rather, hatred will simply cause more problems by continuing the chain reaction we’ve begun with these events.
In the days and weeks following tragedy it becomes vital to remember those who are in your life and why they are there.
Parents woke up Monday morning to hug their children, friends called to check on friends and strangers of the victims felt pangs of pain for the families.
This is the feeling we need to hold onto, not the fear but the love and caring for one another. It is part of human nature to feel compassion for others in pain, it’s one of the ways we’ve continued as a species. Hold onto that compassion for the stranger crossing the street and offer little acts of kindness for people you don’t know.
The chain has now become one of hate, but little by little acts of love can turn it back into a caring one. These little acts can and should come from everyone so we can turn things around and make society better not because of this shooting but despite it.
Miki Shine is a senior majoring in mass communications.