“If we have goals and dreams and we want to do our best, and if we love people and we don’t want to hurt them or lose them, we should feel pain when things go wrong. The point isn’t to live without any regrets, the point is to not hate ourselves for having them…. We need to learn to love the flawed, imperfect things that we create, and to forgive ourselves for creating them. Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly — it reminds us that we know we can do better.”— Brené Brown
“Today’s teenage girl—as much designed for closely held, romantic relationships as were the girls of every other era—is having to broker a life for herself in which she is, on the one hand, a card-carrying member of the over-parented generation, her extended girlhood made into a frantically observed and constantly commemorated possession of her parents, wrought into being with elaborate Sweet 16 parties, and heart-tugging video montages, and senior proms of mawkish, Cinderella-dream dimensions—and on the other hand she has also been forced into a sexual knowingness, brought upon her by the fact that, beginning at a relatively tender age, she has been exposed to the kind of hard-core pornography that her own mother has probably never seen; that her earliest textbooks on puberty have included, perforce, eye-opening and often upsetting information on everything from the transmission of HIV to the range and expression of sexual orientations; that she has been taught by her peer culture that hookups are what stolen, spin-the-bottle kisses were to girls a quarter century ago. She is a little girl; she is a person as wise in the ways of sexual expression as an old woman.”—Caitlin Flanagan
Finally, there is the loneliness of the killers themselves. On Tuesday, police made a horrible discovery in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. A mother (52) and her son (21) were found dead in their car from gunfire. They appear to have died in a murder-suicide. One cop said that killings of this type are common at Christmas: “Whatever the case may be when it comes to the holiday season during my 13-year career, the influx when it comes to people having trouble, family members having trouble and committing violent acts, it happens”. Alas, he is correct. Thousands of miles away in Western Australia, police have declared that they suspect no one else of being involved in the deaths of a mother (46) and her two daughters (12 and 10) in their home near Perth. Another broken family, another murder-suicide.
Imagine the desperate loneliness of the last few moments of these people’s lives. It speaks to an emotional deficit across Western society – a sense that we are not doing enough to love each other. We must do more.