By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
The Biblical prophecies, especially in Revelations, “Alpha and Omega” are often used to describe the beginning and the end. Today, marks the end of 2012, which can be described at the very least as a tragically eventful year.
Residents here within our county learned all too well the forces of Nature with the March 2 tornado that destroyed homes and took the lives of six people. Hurricane Sandy, or Superstorm Sandy to be politically correct, left thousands homeless while even those who were spared the devastating flooding were without power for weeks. The week of Christmas brought heavy rain, tornadoes, and snowstorms to sections of our country, with predictions of more to come.
Within the two weeks before the highly anticipated Christmas Day, our nation was shocked with two reckless and senseless slayings. The first, in Connecticut, has left a community shocked and our nation debating gun control issues while the residents and families slowly recover from the deaths of innocent children and dedicated staff members of an elementary school.
On Christmas Eve, our nation was again shocked when an arsonist gunned down the firefighters who arrived on the scene, injuring several and killing two. Whether paid or volunteer members, these first responders gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect the property of others.
With such extreme acts taking place across our nation, the Christmas spirit for many was subdued, with questions about the fate of our world swirling around inside our minds while we celebrated with family and friends.
The first shooting this month brought concerns of gun control, which will undoubtedly be brought up again in light of the killings of firefighters in New York. Advocates of preserving the right to bear arms shifted the topic to address mental illness rather than to focus on possession of firearms.
While mental illness is definitely a topic that should receive more attention than just to those who work in the field or deal with family members struggling with those issues, another facet surrounding the state of our nation should be the overall well-being of our citizens.
High unemployment rates, higher taxes for the middle class and no taxes for the extremely wealthy, abuse of alcohol and drugs, roller coaster ride gas prices, and increased crime rates leave few avenues for a promising future for our nation.
The recent events in New York and Connecticut depict the evil that has come to dwell within the hearts of the citizens of our fair land. After attacking innocent people, both gunman — like many other assailants of past years — took their own life rather than face the consequences of their deeds.
We as a country can launch massive searches and recoveries for terrorists from foreign lands who threaten our safety but we seemingly are unable to reach out to those troubled and tormented beings within our own sight. If we are to continue to address the needs of our country, we must return to its original goal — to ensure individual rights while protecting the masses. We must find the guidance that led our ancestors and unbury the faith and endurance they held sacred in their hearts.
Gun control and awareness of mental illness is not the answer to the problem. The answer is to search our hearts and find hope for a better day, despite the numerous trials we face along life’s journey. We must find peace, within ourselves, and share it with the world.
As our “omega” for 2012 winds down, and we face the “alpha” for 2013, it should be our personal goal as a society, or a New Year’s Resolution if you will, to instill respect, morality and personal peace within ourselves and reinstitute the politically incorrect regimen of corporal punishment and consequences for bad decisions.
Our New Year’s Resolution for 2013 should focus on improvement — of ourselves, our workplace, our community, our nation — by remembering the basics upon which this country was founded — faith, family and fortune. Until we do, we may well be facing our own omega.