Squirrel Hill Tragedy – a mindset change

Written By Shannon Hartnett, For The Globe

Oct. 27 was a tragic day for the Jewish community, for the Squirrel Hill community and for the Pittsburgh community. I wish I could go back in time, go back and hope I could stop the monster preparing to destroy lives. But I can’t, so how do we deal with the aftermath? How do we get through these hard times? 

What I am sick of, however, are continuous amounts of people turning this tragedy into something to benefit their political agenda. Both sides of politics are using this event to motivate their ideas. 

While Pittsburgh mourns, the nation rallies. People yell for stricter gun laws as funerals are being planned. Others call for more guns as families cry over lost loved ones. 

A looming question of “vote” whispers throughout the streets as if massacres will never occur again if everyone shows up to the midterms. Sure, politics are important, but right now after this heinous event, we don’t need politics, we need love – a radical, life-altering kind of love. 

As rabbis, pastors, priests and congregations come together to pray, the media watches like vultures from the street ready to latch its talons into anything newsworthy. While people try to love one another, critics lie in wait to talk about who is right or wrong. Seeing religions unite is is what is groundbreaking. We see riots against gun rights all the time in this country. 

Our nation is missing this love – a way that has potential to change people for good. We need to see past the political parties and focus on the humanity. Focus on the people and what they really need: love, kindness, peace, respect, joy. This is what we are lacking.

I encourage you, the readers, to take up the challenge to live with a radical type of love. See past the barriers and love one another. We are all just people searching for a type of love that pushes past tragedy. Be the change. Be the love that people are desperately seeking. And stop using a massacre to persuade people into agreeing with your

We need unity as this nation battles between red and blue. Look past political parties and notice that people from both sides are hurting. Take a page from Mister Rogers and be a friendly neighbor. Start with a radical love that others will look up to
and envy.

Bring Pennsylvania back to its roots. Founded by the Quakers, they believed in amd exemplified brotherly love. Let’s start there. That is how we begin to heal, not by making this devastating event to fit your political agenda. 

In the words of Christian singer/songwriter Mandisa, “We all bleed the same, We’re more beautiful when we come together, So tell me why we’re divided… If we are gonna fight let’s fight for each other, If we’re gonna shout let love be the cry.”