Roseburg is close to Linda and me. We drive through it frequently to see our Granddaughter who is a student at Oregon State University, then we drive through it again on our way home. We stop for coffee each time. Our granddaughter is the same age as some of the students at Umpqua Community College.
With each school killing conversations swirl around mental illness, racial and religious bigotry, and especially gun control. At first glance, gun control seems to be an immediate answer. The young unstable person who killed his fellow students had seven guns, all purchased legally. It is easy to buy an assault rifle in the United States. Here in Oregon, it is legal to carry it downtown. Changing that will be a step in a healthy direction, but the cause of killing lies elsewhere.
According to a Sioux story, the Creator called all the animals together and asked them, “Where can I hide from the humans the secret that they create their reality until they are ready to know it?” “Give it to me,” said the salmon. “I will take it to the bottom of the sea. They will never find it there.” “No,” said the Creator, “One day the humans will go to the bottom of the sea, and they will find it.”
“Give it to me,” said the bear. “I will bury it in the mountain. They will never find it there.” “No,” said the Creator, “One day they will dig into the mountain, and they will find it.” “Give it to me,” said the Eagle. “I will take it to the moon. They will never find it there.” “No,” said the Creator, “One day they will even go to the moon, and they will find it.”
Then Grandmother Mole rose to speak. Everyone listened quietly, because they knew that she lives in the breast of Mother Earth and is very wise. “Put it inside them,” she said. “Ho!” said the Creator. “It is done.”
Now the secret is out. We are all discovering it. Each unchallenged moment of judgement, jealousy, anger, superiority, inferiority, and lack of compassion fuels killing, fuels brutality, fuels suffering. To change these things, we must change ourselves. We are each ultimately responsible for the world. That is the message of love that comes to us from Roseburg.