What a word. What a concept. What a mind-boggling and powerful way to send condolences or blessings to any given noun one feels the need to. But what does it mean exactly? WHO or WHAT are you praying to? HOW may I ask, are you “sending” prayers?
A God by definition, is “the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.” That being said, why are so many “sending prayers” via a source of moral authority who seemingly “allows” tragic events like a mass shooting to occur? Am I the only one who feels that sounds a bit like an oxymoron? Where’s the morality in that?
So…what do people hope to accomplish by crafting so many “sending my prayers to…” posts on social media? Does that make them a good person; a God-fearing person? If I’m 100% honest (some tell me I’m TOO honest), these posts annoy the crap outta me!
Slow your blood from insta-boiling and hear me out. I get it, I really do…everyone wants to appear sympathetic. Everyone wants to look like a good person, like they care, etc. But what is that post doing? Other than generating some “likes” and “OMG so sad!” comments, it does absolutely nothing. Nothing for the affected, anyway. It’s really only stroking the writer’s ego. I can pretty much guarantee that 90% of people who say the word “pray” in any variation (especially via social media) are not and have not in fact, prayed in any way, shape, or form for the present circumstance and probably have not done so in who knows how long.
That’s fine, really. Social media has become the common platform to express one’s rightful opinion and when you think about it, that’s all that “praying” post is, an opinion. An opinion when you don’t really have an opinion, but so desperately want to be apart of the commonality that makes one feel they’ve contributed something to the greater good.
I woke up this morning to a text from a co-worker saying “please tell me you weren’t in Vegas this weekend.” Shortly after, my boyfriend showed me his phone and said “did you see this?” I immediately started reading about it and listened to the radio for updates on the way to work; each description of what happened made me cry.
I pictured the fear struck in everyone at the festival and I got a gut-wrenching feeling as if I was just punched in the stomach. I had to sit in the parking lot at work and wipe the tears before I walked in…like everyone else, I just couldn’t believe it. Then I turned on my computer and read the headlines which included video clips of the moment it happened, so I logged onto Twitter. I figured the only way I could help at this point was search and re-tweet the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s important blood donation center information/phone numbers to locate loved ones’ posts. That was me, doing my small part. . . but it is not enough.
In the midst of countless redundant posts “sending prayers to Las Vegas,” I just about went on a (shorter than this blog post) rant on Facebook, but realized it was useless. As the sun is beginning to set, less and less of these posts are popping up and everyone seems to be calming their effervescent condolences and going back to business as usual. Look at my selfie, hey Trump do this don’t do that, here are my pictures from the weekend, etc. And by all means, life should go on as such.
What’s interesting in times like these is everyone seems to be so connected for a brief moment, sharing the same basic common ground…to support the human way of simply, living life. Then the dust settles and opinions spark debates about gun control, heightened security measures, and of course, conspiracy theories. My oh my, do we sure become opinionated during tragedy. Myself, included.
So why do people continue to hashtag pray for whatever, truly knowing it has done and will do nothing? Furthermore, am I any less of an empathetic human for not “praying for” the current series of unfortunate events? Just days and weeks ago, everyone was “praying for” those affected by the natural disasters which wiped out half of the Caribbean. That didn’t change anything, did it? Puerto Rico is still without power, its residents living in a somewhat archaic state.
Not one person I know donated their time or money (and trust me, I know this to be a fact because people are so quick to post about their good-doing for even more likes), not one person I know shared anything other than one prayer filled post. So it goes to show, be it Mother Nature or pure senseless human stupidity, nothing changes and prayer (although a comforting touchstone to some) is nothing more than a transparent notion.
Am I saying don’t “believe” or stop “praying?” By all means, no. I realize prayer and beliefs are a sense of support. I feel everyone should do what makes them happy and comfortable, including sharing your opinion. I’m just saying, prayer will only go so far, from the neurons in your brain creating the inductive reasoning to, in this case, your thumbs on your phone. But just as my act of support that involved a more logical method of retweeting pertinent information, it is not enough…DO SOMETHING.
Then what am I going to do, whine about it? Well, yeah…I suppose that’s what this and many other blogs entail: another opinion that can be perceived as whining. I can’t go to Las Vegas and physically offer help, but I can take a trip to my local blood donation center and that’s my next step. Does a bag of my blood solve the problem? No. But it helps, which is what I encourage you to do especially in crucial times, help.
Now…this little group of words may not ever be read by more than myself because frankly, I’m not even sure I want to tell anyone about this little blog…so by the time it reaches even one person, this particular mass shooting and the aftermath may be settled. Though, in recent years mass shootings have become an unfortunate norm. That being said, do what you can, when you can and take serious action when it is needed…but please, for the sake of humanity: don’t. just. pray.