Shootings in Aurora, Colorado — my hometown

As someone who was raised in Aurora, Colorado, not far from the Century 16 movie theater complex, I am deeply saddened and shocked by this senseless incident. My heart goes out to the victims and their families and I hope for a speedy recovery by all those who were injured. It’s at times like this that I cannot help but reflect on the tenuousness and uncertainty of life and I can’t escape the knowledge that any of us could be gone in a moment. Certainly none of us expect to be gunned down at the movies, but then again none of us expect to be hit by a bus either. It is so important for all of us to live each day to the fullest and to make our lives meaningful, for we never know when our last day might be. It would be easy to write this off as just another shooting in America, but I see similarities to violent attacks in Japan. Early indications are that the shooter was unable to find meaningful employment after graduating from university. We may never know whether or not this contributed to his motivation to perpetuate violence against the innocent, but it seems that this is becoming an all too familiar scenario – the marginalized in our society reacting violently because they have no hope. This was the case in the 2008 stabbings in Akihabara and the stabbings in Shinsaibashi just last month. As an educator, it is my job to give my students knowledge, but events like these make me rethink that perhaps I should focus less on my students’ intellects and pay more attention to their emotions. Maybe my job should be to fill them with knowledge and hope. I don’t know how to do that and I don’t know if I will be successful, but I believe that I have to try.

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