“We’ve just lost respect for each other; we’ve lost respect for life,” Bing said. “I don’t want to say that you can forget about this generation or the generation before us, but if we’re going to solve the problem, we’ve got to get into the heads and the minds and the hearts of our young people, and it’s going to take all of us to do that.”
This quote comes from NBC News' report of the increase in violence and the decrease in population in Detroit. The speaker in that quote is Detroit's mayor, Dave Bing.
Now, before I go on, I want to make this perfectly clear (I'm pretty sure I've made it perfectly clear in other posts, but this is a big website, so some people might not know!): I am not a staunch social conservative. In many aspect, I am more libertarian than anything else. I in no way intend to start a debate on Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice. Frankly, neither side wins it. Still, it's important for us to understand that what Mayor Bing says goes well beyond an increased murder rate in his city. It speaks to the very core of what many in the country feel, regardless of their thoughts on the fetus.
Life is sacred. Life is important. If it wasn't, religions and governments alike wouldn't frown on taking a life so hard ("in some aspects, you mean" some of you added mentally). Life is a blessing. It is something we are given and expected to make the most of. To snuff out the potential of a life is the ultimate slap in the face to God/Nature/etc.
We have come to treat life much like we treat many other things. We take it for granted. Assume it will always be there for us. But you're not guaranteed that next day.
That next breath, even.
“I don’t want to say that you can forget about this generation or the generation before us, but if we’re going to solve the problem, we’ve got to get into the heads and the minds and the hearts of our young people, and it’s going to take all of us to do that.”
I'm repeating that because it is just as powerful as the "respect for life" statement. Bing is absolutely right here. And there is no easy way to address this in the public arena. If you try to discuss publicly the "sanctity of life," you will be labeled a Right-wing wacko and dismissed more often than not. But something does need to be done. If we can't respect life, how can we govern it justly?
You can follow me on Twitter: @joec_esquire