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NIU Violence: What Can YOU Do?

February 16, 2008 By: Category: Top Stories

On Thursday, February 14th, tragedy struck the Northern Illinois University campus in DeKalb, Illinois. Our hearts and thoughts are with the victims, families and all those on the campus.  This event leaves many of us asking what’s going on in our high schools and colleges?  But, we should quit asking what’s going on in our schools, and start asking what’s going on in our society, communities and homes that drives people to take such drastic action?

Everyone seems to be asking the same question.  Clue #1. In the majority - if not all - of school shootings, the shooter, or shooters, end their killing spree by taking their own life.  Suicides occur for several different reasons - depression, fear of failure, societal pressures, lack of love.  Clue #2. Suicide is not a new concept.  Taking other victims with you is.  Clue #3. Everywhere we look - news media, politics, our jobs and even within our families - people consistently seek to blame others for their own misgivings, failures, etc.  Everyone wants to find success, to be infallible. In this journey for perfection, we will fail.  It’s human nature.  It’s how we improve.  However, societal “norms” provide the illusion that failure is not acceptable and our media, communities and even our families continue to teach us how easy it is to blame others, regardless of whether or not these “others” have any involvement.

Please understand that I am not pointing my finger at any one particular person or group or people.  Rather, I am to blame as well. I am part of this society, this community and my family.  However, you are in the same boat I am, because you are part of the same society.  All of us must begin accepting the blame.  Changing ourselves is the only way we can begin to affect change.  When people blame others, then there is NO CHANGE.  Blaming others only leads to complaining, and in extreme cases, it leads to incidents like what happened at NIU.  We need to start accepting our own faults and then move on and improve.

I am not a psychiatrist, a sociologist, or any other “qualified” professional.  I am, however, a concerned person who wants to affect positive change for you, my family and me.  The change I speak of will not be easy, nor will it be quick.  We all want a quick and easy fix - it’s natural for us to feel this way, especially in this increasingly fast-paced world we live in.  But remember, it took us a long time to get to this unfortunate point, and it will take some time to get out.

I want to know what YOU think the core problem is and, most importantly, what you, me and everyone else needs to do to eliminate these traumatic incidents from happening again.  Or, maybe you think there is nothing that can be done (I really hope you don’t feel that way, though).  Please comment or email [email protected]