The shooting in Tucson has engendered an onslaught of blaming and fingerpointing from all points on the political spectrum. Perhaps it's partly because many people are struggling to manage their grief and outrage; others are manipulating this tragedy for their own political gains.
Every one of us is individually accountable for our own behavior and choices; together we are collectively and ethically accountable for our responses. As a diverse global community of human beings, how can we respond in concrete caring ways so that these kinds of atrocities are less likely to occur?
I remember learning about the case of Kitty Genovese and the "bystander effect" in one of my undergraduate psychology classes, a woman who was brutally murdered in New York City in the presence of witnesses who did absolutely nothing to save her life.
Last week there were caring citizens in the Safeway parking lot in Tucson who did step in. And it is natural to wonder if there may have warning signs in the life of the shooter that could have been addressed in such a way as to prevent this traumatic event.
I am not assigning blame on anyone or anything, but I am acknowledging our collective humanity. We have an opportunity to engage in caring civil discourse about how we can root our lives in compassionate mutual responsibility.
I strive to be as committed to your freedom, well being and happiness as I am to my own. No one is more or less worthy of joy and liberation than anyone else.