The High Trapeze

Life is just one high trapeze….we all go out in the morning, swinging through the air, performing acrobatics and somersaults, jumping from one end to the other, hoping that everything goes according to plan, and Synchronicity prevails. Below us, waiting, is the beloved safety net that we depend upon to catch us when things go wrong.

There are many in the audience who watch us perform on the high-wire. Some cheer us on, others boo, but on we go sailing through the air with confidence that all will go well, and we will never fall….then, out of the blue, a slip of a hand, a twist of a leg, and before too long we are free-falling through the air with ours eyes glued on that safety net, hoping that it has been well-maintained to catch us before we hit the ground. This week, in Littleton, Colorado, the safety net failed.

A group of teenagers, who call themselves “The Trenchcoat Mafia” made the headlines around the world. Two of its members decided to enter their high school with over thirty pipe bombs and multiple weapons to kill as many people as they could, including themselves. How could this happen? This has now been the eighth occurrence of this kind of violence in schools, in the past two years, across the United States. So what can be said of life on the trapeze? When the safety net becomes withered and torn, or simply not put up at all, fatalities can be the only outcome. None of us are perfect, and we all make mistakes, and yes, once in awhile we walk along the wrong road in life or swing the wrong way on the trapeze, but as a society we depend on the safety nets to catch those who are confused and off-balance.

So what can be said for our “trusty” safety net? The fabric of our society? The rope that is supposed to protect us, sometimes even from ourselves? The first section of the net is made up of our families, the second, our schools, the third, our communities, and so on, until each become interconnected…..but beware, one who falls from the trapeze these days better land in the most secure section of the net, because there are many nets out there that are starting to show gaping holes that are growing with time.

Who is to blame… the media? the guns? the internet? That’s just pointing the finger. I believe the answer lies much deeper, under the surface, than we realize. If we put bad things into our bodies, bad things happen. If we put bad thoughts and bad messages into our minds, bad things happen. If all the guns, all the bombs, all the knives, were removed from society in the morning, I do believe those two individuals who found it appropriate to massacre would have just as easily walked through the door with spears and bows and arrows, or something else. They found it very easy to make homemade bombs….all they would have done was transfer their weapons of choice. The mind is the ultimate weapon. Until we deal with this, the tools may change, but the mental machine will seek out new avenues to accomplish its mission. The information that we take in as individuals are seeds that, when fertilized, grow at an alarming rate. It’s that simple. Those individuals in Colorado embraced some of the most evil ideology that we have on this planet. Is it truly any surprise what happened? And how many more out there are waiting for their fifteen minutes of fame?

These days many of us mind our own business, lock our doors, and refuse to get involved. We’re afraid of lawsuits, people being angry at us, neighbors calling us nosy…..hey, who doesn’t want to be liked? Then one afternoon, at one thirty, a newsflash comes across the television, and this time it’s not someone’s else’s school, but our own…. and it’s not their kids, it’s our kids, and our families. I pray over the next few days I start to see members of Congress looking for solutions, not bogging themselves down in political rhetoric. This is truly a “wake-up” call…we can either get out of our beds or go back to sleep.

Check your net,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

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