Here at Ms. Anne Thrope’s Coffee Club, our customers, staff, and friends have stated their positions about gun control, mental health, sexuality, religious zealotry and pluralism, immigration reform, and building walls around the oceans. Megan Veronovsky pointed out that the initials stand for ArmaLite Rifle, not “assault rifle.” Abe O’Garrity likes the idea of a dome surrounding the nation. Strawberry Kaimakamian argues that we need better ways to assess mental health. James Hoffa Jones thinks we should develop something he calls a Star Wars Laser Disarmament System that, in his words, “will zap anyone who tries to shoot up a group of people.” On it goes. We’re selling coffee and the backgammon tables are a little more noisy than usual.
As I fulfill orders and ring up receipts, I find myself wondering if our nation will do anything after Orlando. Will our national leaders serve the common good of the nation? Or will the corporate control of Congress and the various state legislatures continue? Will public health initiatives, including mental health agencies, continue to be defunded? Will we seek creative solutions to our national problems? Will these governing bodies do anything positive beyond their moment of silence?
And then my inner dialogue comes back to me: Stop pointing at others. Be responsible yourself. What will I do? How will I engage the world to bring change? Standing in a coffee shop, I realize that question sounds somewhat melodramatic. Even so, until I do something, I cannot expect anyone else to do anything.