What is it with people who think they know better than someone who is living with - or has experienced - an actual situation or event? Doctors are discouraged from making long-distance diagnoses because they may be missing some of the intangibles by not being there. Yet people feel like they should know how someone living a completely different existence should feel and react and live based on how THEY feel and react and live. Long-distance advice is seldom welcome, and generally reflects the mindset of the person giving the advice, rather than the needs of those receiving it.
The horror of 9/11 is a good example. Cellphone video and TV cameras relayed and replayed footage of planes hitting the towers and their eventual collapse, until the American psyche was permanently scarred by it. Hatred and mistrust of anyone looking remotely Arabic became a stain on our history of America as a melting pot of many colors.
Meanwhile, back in NYC, the people most affected by the attack were busy getting back to their routines. They were not hating and mistrusting - they joined hands with their Muslim neighbors and left the past behind. They were not wearing tacky T-shirts with bald eagles and "never forget" on them. NYC never forgot either, but they weren't about to let this define them or change them - that would be letting "the enemy" win.
I happened to be there on that terrible day, and remember the chaos, the immensity, the smell. Yet, whenever I criticized the Dubya Administration's over-reaction, I'd invariably be asked "have you forgotten what happened on 9/11". I'd respond "of course not - I was there". Which generally reduced their fauxtrage to a "well then - you should know". I DO know - those in "America's Heartland" are the ones with no clue. They suffered nothing but the non-stop visual assault of media replaying the death porn. They could've turn it off anytime they wanted. For those in NYC, you can't turn off the smell weeks later, but you can choose how you react to it.
Sandy Hook was another one of those seminal moments in American history, where the very soul of the country took a direct hit. It was impossible to not be affected by the knowledge that so many innocent little lives were snuffed out. Those who suffered the worst - the parents and neighbors of all those murdered children - channeled their grief into action to try to change our nation's lax gun laws to help prevent this from ever happening again.
Out in - once again - America's Heartland (with a seeming lack of heart), they had a decidedly different solution: Arm the schools. In their mind, those who suffered did so only because there weren't enough
guns, not that there are too many and too accessible. Had those teachers been packing heat, they could have taken out that little bastard, just like you see in the action movies. Because after all - inside of every grade school teacher is a Terminator just waiting to get out, right?
It's not just traumatic events that get this "prescription from afar" treatment. Consider the "illegal immigrant crisis". Those who pay attention know that this is NOT a "crisis", and undocumented immigrants from south of the border have actually been going back home as the Mexican economy continues to improve. Nonetheless, politics thrives on blaming someone else for it's problems, so we end up with pResident tRump, and a clamoring to "build that wall".
Once again though, the people most affected - those nearest the border - do not want a wall built. Consider this letter
written by someone who lives next to our southern border:
You would be hard-pressed to find anyone living here who wants it. The wall would turn our homes into prisons, with our children growing up in the shadow of a symbol of hatred for the Latino immigrants living here. It would not deter border crossers but would force them to traverse harsher terrain where many would die.
The wall would also steal our landownersâ€™ property and wall off the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and World Birding Center on which our local economy depends greatly. Both our precious ecology and our economy rely heavily upon our sister cities in Mexico, and we share with them a cultural heritage and landscape that, once severed, we would never regain. We want to see our community continue to benefit, as it has since its inception, from the synergy with our Mexican neighbors for generations to come, and that means we have no room for walls or fences.
The long-distance prescription from those least affected by the "cure" is seldom welcome and generally detrimental. People should learn to mind their own business and focus on their own backyards.