The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was established in 1961. The United States is a charter member. Currently there are 35 members. The mission of the OECD is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. In June 2016 the OECD committed itself “to redefine the growth narrative to put people’s well-being at the center of governments’ efforts”. In other words-it’s the government’s job to provide opportunities to make their citizens happy.
Events over the past few years have often brought difficult news for people to bear, but the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida seems to have struck a “nerve” in the collective consciousness of our country. Perhaps it’s due to the loss of so many beautiful young souls or the tragedy of the innocent being needlessly victimized. But whatever the reason, the event has cut a deep wound in our society’s sensibilities.
Again. And again. And again. With ever-increasing frequency, comes news of yet another mass shooting. Parkland, Florida now the latest location added to the sickening, ever-lengthening list of places in the United States associated with gun violence. There, on Valentine’s Day, a 19 year old former student, with a legally purchased AR-15, killed seventeen students and teachers, injured fifteen, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School joined Columbine, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook in the especially abhorrent category of “Worst American School Shootings.”
The evidence that people are not thinking these days is particularly evident in the daily happenings recorded in the news. Evidence: the explosion of men, who are assumed to be of good character, being exposed as sexual predators. Evidence: the thoughtless judgments and criticisms coming from Twitter. Evidence: legislation coming from our elected officials allowing children to use deadly firearms while at the same time prohibiting adults from using non-lethal, possibly medicinal, marijuana. Evidence: violent rampages in which people get killed and injured. Evidence: spending mindless hours playing online games or surfing social media. Ouch, that hurts! I won’t go on. How does this happen? Maybe, it’s because we aren’t THINKING.
When I was grocery shopping the other day, which happened to be the day that the temperature had dramatically plummeted from the low 60’s to the low 30’s, I happened to overhear a young boy telling his mother “I love winter in Wisconsin because . . . there’s no bugs!”