Friday, January 14, 2011

the case against civility.


by now, you know her name:
christina taylor green.

she was nine,
& she was murdered.

the youngest victim of
the madman who opened fire
on congresswoman gabrielle giffords
& the crowd who came to see her at a grocery store
in tuscon last saturday.

fourteen injured. six dead.

yesterday, christina was the first
to be buried.

a beautiful third-grader.
smart. creative. giving.
an animal lover.
a new member on her school's student council.
the only girl on her little league team
[second base].

& born on 9.11.01.

there is so, so much to grieve for here.

but what i can't get past is how
christina's first & last days in this world
were connected with national tragedies.

christina was chronicled in a book,
"faces of hope,"
which featured a baby from every state
born on 9.11.

now she has been eulogized
by the president, who said,
"i want america to be as good
as christina imagined it."

when we were attacked by others,
christina's birth was seen as
a symbol of hope for our country.

now we are attacking each other.
& i feel christina's death may be seen as
a symbol of danger -
a distress signal for our country.

a living, dying testament
to what we are becoming
because of how we are behaving.

it's no longer just a case of civility,
of please or thank you or don't interrupt,
of good manners. that sugar-coating -
by the media, the pundits, even my president -
is beginning to sicken me.

because what it is, is a spectrum of violence,
& it begins with fear.
& every word or name or phrase or dictate
or image that amplifies the fear or alludes to violence
inches us further & further along the spectrum . . .

until it ends with a little girl's casket.

the solution, i think, is as simple
& as difficult as the golden rule.

if we're loving each other
the way each of us longs to be loved,
treating each other the way
each of us deserves to be treated

- simply because we are here,
we are all americans,
all human beings,
all children of God -

there is no room for fear
& no reason or rationalization
great enough to justify violence.

christina taylor green
practiced it.
let her be our example
of how to do it right
& what happens when
we're doing it so very wrong.


image source: daily mail.

7 comments:

Diana said...

Amen.

kriscard said...

Thanks, Di.

Grace Snyder-Wagner said...

Beautifully worded.

kriscard said...

Thank you, Grace.

SCG said...

Agreed and amen.

Donna J said...

I will always remember that tragic day in Tucson as well as everything this beautiful little girl embodied. Thank you for sharing, Kristen.

kriscard said...

thank you for reading & commenting, Donna! i hope to see you here again sometime soon! :)