To those who responded to the "Black Lives Matter" movement with "All Lives Matter," I ask that you live up to your slogan following the recent incident of gun violence. At what point does a life matter? Here is what I wrote in my journal nearly 20 years ago after another incident of gun violence: The space between love and its absence is too small to be noticed. In an instant, the absence of love will change another’s life. It is that quick. Did we not see our part in altering the wholeness that was someone’s birthright? A chink broke off here and there. We were blind to the specks of ego falling to the ground until the broken cries became a scream, and the pathology was too harmful to ignore. “What could have happened?” we ask. What would cause disintegration into someone so distorted we no longer recognize him? Could it have been something we did or didn’t do in that small space between us?
Yes, we need gun control laws, good mental health care, and better protection. But the greatest proactive protection we can offer is love, not hate. Let's regard – yes even someone who commits murder – as a fellow human being, rather than as our president recently did, "a maniac." Love is harder than hate, but let’s give it a try. Hate certainly doesn't work.
Katherine Roos, Glens Falls