I started reading Focus by Leo Babauta last Thursday. By Friday I had decided to follow Leo’s advice and disconnect from the web for a few days. I stopped checking email, Facebook, blogging, and Twitter by Friday evening. I slipped a few times. I made a few Twitter posts during a few off moments, mostly during during meals via Foursquare. But that was it. I achieved my goal of disconnecting and felt pretty good about it. Late Sunday night my wife commented that it felt like we re-connected this weekend. I felt the same way. Focus is a great read. I highly recommend it.
Disconnecting had its price. I missed the murder and mayhem associated with the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. It was hard to pass up the feeding frenzy, but pass I did. Instead I listened to a few news reports and tried to come to terms with the different thoughts running through my head. My first thoughts were a reaction to violence. I abhor violence. It makes me ill. While the story unfolded I thought of the families involved and the pain they must feel. It is not something I ever want to experience.
I understand why people pray at times like this. I felt no compulsion to pray, none at all. Instead I felt small and helpless. My heart broke a little as the news described an unnamed nine year old victim, and again as the death toll increased. It’s a gruesome process waiting to hear news of the dead.
I have a lot of friends in Tucson. I was worried about them. I wanted to do something to lessen my fears but chose to let my fears go. There was nothing I could do. I would find out about my friends in due time.
At some point early on my wife asked me who a thought was capable of an act like this. I told her it was a nutball or a true believer, or both. She asked about motivation and I moved toward politics and the Tea Party. I knew enough about the situation to understand the Sarah Palin and her ilk had pointed the full power of the Tea Party straight at Rep. Giffords. I felt the connection – nutball, true believer, and Tea Party. I don’t think I was too far off the mark. I forgot racist.
I’m interested now and I’ll follow the case until it fades away. It’s the politics I’m worried about. The Tea Party and it’s rhetoric have me worried. I think both sides will use the event to rally their troops – but the Tea Party will continue to sew hatred and discontent no matter what happens. And that’s what really makes me sad. The future looks bleak unless we stand up to their bullshit.