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Letter: Failure in what we have done

Failure in what we have done

The things we have been doing in this country during the past 70 to 80 years have not been working. We should have become a better and stronger people, but that has not happened. Our mental health and strength of character are far less than they used to be. We have never been perfect, but we are further from it now than we were then. We have been powerfully reminded of this by the killings at Sandy Hook and other places.

We must make changes in what we are doing. A mentally healthy person with a gun in hand is not a dangerous person, but a mentally unhealthy person with a gun in hand will do horrible things. We must deal with the reasons we are producing so many mentally unhealthy people. It is not one thing which has led us to where we are now. It is a multiple of things and we must take time to consider them all. A knee-jerk reaction is not what we need at this time. We need good people to step up and identify where we have gone wrong, and each of us must search our own souls to determine if we are guilty, and be willing to do our part in correcting what needs to be corrected.

The path we will need to travel will not be easy, and there will be many who refuse to consider what must be considered. We must look at the failure, which results from discrimination and the damage it does. We must look at the failure of religious organizations to teach and live the message of love they proclaim. We have abandoned a faith which at its very center says, "You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself." We must again learn the truth of this.

We must look at developing a better mental health system to identify and respond early to the needs that are so many. We must take a close look at legislation produced by politicians that divide us and removes from people their sense of dignity and worth, and there is much which must be looked at in this area. We must look at an educational system which seeks to clone a way of life that denies freedom of thought to students. We must challenge students to use their 14 billion brain cells in making their own way in the world, a way that does not take advantage of and degrade other people. We must look at our own individual belief systems and ways of life which are often absent of concern for other people. We must abandon striving to sit at the top of the totem pole by pushing other people down.

We must carefully examine an entertainment industry which glorifies sex and violence. We must be aware that all people are products of where they come from, and the more dysfunctional their backgrounds, the more dysfunctional they will be. We must look at the failure to prepare for marriage, and the failure to bring children into a loving and nurturing environment.

We must pull together good people to look at and consider the many things that must be considered. Politicians will tend to believe they can solve all our problems, but history has shown they often make things worse. We have many people with good minds capable of evaluating the multitude of problems we have, and what we must do to get back on the road toward health, freedom and equality for all. We have taken steps backward regarding this in my lifetime. Let's summon up the courage to identify where we have gone wrong, and get busy becoming better people who understand that good mental health is a prerequisite to building a better nation.

We have a lot of work to do. May we realize the work belongs to each of us.-- Roger Bolton

Conyers