EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 20, 2012

Letter: We need to change our ways, not our laws

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

All too often the news lately is about public shootings and increased violent crime. Our immediate reaction is that there ought to be stricter laws or more gun control or that guns ought to be taken away. We want to be safe and we think laws will protect us from anything like this occurring ever again.

But laws don’t stop bad people from behaving badly, or crazy people from behaving crazily. We never look inward and think about how are we parenting and caring for our children. They are our most important resource, yet we spend increasingly less and less time with them. We rush them into the care of others we assume are good care givers and role models instead of doing the job ourselves; not knowing really who is watching our precious little ones.

We never look at our modern society as being to blame for letting our children down. We let them watch whatever TV shows they want or play games that are inappropriate or let them on the Internet way too young and unsupervised. We drop them off at activities or other homes, rarely checking who these people are.

I pose that if we were more mindful about bringing another life into this world and waited until we could afford to do so and give all our attention to this life and give them what is necessary to be a healthy, successful person in this world, then there would be fewer violent people. But we have dropped that ball and are paying the price.

Our society is breaking down, and no law can fix it, only we can make a change. We can choose to be better parents and be present in our children’s lives more than just from dinner to bedtime. We can choose not to have children if we do not want to give all this time and effort to another person. We are so quick to marry and divorce; we could choose to really make a commitment to a good person before we enter into a relationship. We can respect ourselves enough to not be in a bad relationship.

We can turn away from what is bad and not watch it on television, laughing at this bad behavior and becoming desensitized to it. We need to turn back to spirituality, not necessarily religion, but a belief

that people have spirits and souls and they need to be protected and nurtured from day one. We are lacking inner strength to step up do what is right in favor of the instant gratification of “I want.”.It is society as a whole that has dropped the ball, and no laws can fix this. The government cannot fix our problems, only we can.

Maria Rea

North Andover