Be Prepared…

I learned this as a Boy Scout many, many years ago…or so it seems.  The Boy Scout motto has served me well through my years on this earth.  Reminders hit regularly and today was no exception as I awoke to the story of carnage in Las Vegas.

50+ people who were excited to attend a music festival in ‘Vegas’ were cut down by automatic weapons fire as they became ‘sitting ducks’.  More than 100 have been reported injured and certainly, some of those were critical and may, by now, have died as well.

Lessons abound if we can get beyond the carnage and the fact that there are people in our midst for whom this is something possible in which to engage.  The only explanation is that these people must be The Devil incarnate if only for the time it took to commit this heinous act.  Most of us, thankfully, cannot even think of something such as this action let along engage in that action.

Among the lessons is that most important lesson for any of us:  Always be prepared to meet your God.  I am reminded of my mother’s admonition that I should always have clean socks on before I left our house to travel somewhere.  She must’ve wanted that so that she’d not be found lacking as a caring Mom should someone be tending to my physical needs caused by an accident.

It is so easy to tell ourselves we’ll get to this or that “tomorrow”.  Unless we are knowingly entering into some activity from which we might not emerge alive (such as a soldier in a hostile fire situation or an officer responding to such an action or a firefighter battling a conflagration), we seem to think we’ll always have a ‘tomorrow’.  Certainly, these fifty + people who went to the concert never gave a thought to the fact they might not live through that concert.  Had they, it is doubtful they’d have attended unless they were somehow otherwise affected with a sense of immortality.

Our time on earth is not something we can finitely prescribe for ourselves.  Yes, be sure you have clean socks on your feet, too, if your Mom is like mine was.  Mothers know us well, it seems.

Another side of this terrible, terrible occurrence is that we have those capable of such a thing in our midst.  This person is supposed to have had eight fully-automatic weapons in that hotel room at the time.  Those are not legal for most people in most circumstances.  There are exceptions but those are very few and policed thoroughly.

Be Prepared.  That had such a simple meaning to me when I was a Boy Scout and then an Explorer scout.  I was still protected from these terrible realities such as a young person is usually protected.  Ignorance can be soothing even though ignorance is seldom good for us.  My uniform changed to the Olive drab of a basic trainee in the Army and the phrase was forgotten since I had a drill sergeant tending to me as my Mother used to tend to me.  He too, though, wanted me to always Be Prepared, but he wasn’t so gentle in reminding me of that as was Mom.  He did, however, always want me to have good clean socks on my feet since he was all about marching me until I was ready to expire…or so I thought at the time.

Yet, there is not much that we can do to be mindful of such dangers as these people faced yesterday in Las Vegas.  So far, at least, this appears to have been a home-grown assassin versus someone of another sect or faith who has been preparing for a lifetime to take such action.  We have to be ever-mindful, however, that we face different reasons to always Be Prepared.

This was a terrible, terrible reminder but a reminder nonetheless.


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