“. . . This Above All, To Thine Own Self Be True!”

Love yourselfHappy Hump Day, All!

I’ve got to set conditions on this one today … if you are not amongst those who lost friends or family in the fatalities experienced at the Naval Yard in Washington, DC … you might have a better chance of being happy on Hump Day. I can spin things like this around in my head, but I just don’t get it!! How can so many people with mental illnesses slip through the “cracks” of security in our society and get an automatic weapon, enter a secure area and assemble the weapon and then kill multiple people?! I mean, on my job, everybody is watching somebody … just saying! The same kind of weapon was used at the movie theatre massacre out West, the same kind of weapon was used at Sandy Hook … how oh how can we be more concerned with being cruel to one another than locating these people and keep weapons out of their hands? Then, when it happens, “we” look for someone to blame!?

In many ways, Mr. Alexis was looking for help … Over and over and over, he slipped through yet another “social check-point”, so to speak, until this horrific event at the nation’s capitol! One of the ideas or self concepts I advocate here at Educational Excellence is “Know Thyself”. This also connects with the fact that as it is said in “Hamlet”, the Shakespearean play, ” … this above all, to thine own self be true!”. These are underpinnings of a “sane” person, if you will. Now, I am not negating the fact that some of us are more stably sane than others, and, some may need counseling and medication to assist in achieving and maintaining this balance. But it seems that somewhere along the line, a person like Alexis can get some help. If one of my friends told me they were hearing voices, I would make a “bee line” to get some help … and probably do all I can NOT to let him/her out of my sight!

I have been a part of a “12 Step Program” that gives medallions after each year of sobriety. It was customary to have the inscription, “To Thine Own Self Be True”, on one side of the medallion and on the other side, the number of years of sobriety was reflected. I recall this specifically on my fifth year medallion. I understand that there may be a fine line between respecting someone’s privacy and noticing bizarre behavior. I just can’t wrap my head around how yet another “troubled citizen” manages to get through so many people’s thoughts and jobs … yes and security … to inflict such damage on innocent people. Please keep in mind that a crazy person will seldom come up to someone and say, “Hey, I’m crazy!” But may we all be well aware that the people we may be closest to who exhibit boundless behavior from time to time, may need to become our focal points instead of badgering or holding in contempt others with whom we may not always agree.

Have a great Hump Day … and be aware!


John I. Cook, Director

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