The Comical Audacity Of Thoughts And Prayers
“Sending thoughts and prayers.” You know what’s the smoke & mirrors part of that sentence? The verb. “To send.”
Because thoughts and prayers are non-tangible. They can’t be “sent.” You send packages, flowers, letters, aid, expertise, donations.
Most importantly, when you send someone something it is solely for the purpose that they receive/acknowledge it.
You have thoughts.
And you pray — to God, assumedly — for someone else. (It’s up to God’s bidding whether your prayer is answered, right?)
These are not representations of sending anything. In fact, these are examples of private passages of time. It’s the thing you do when you are powerless to do anything of actual value. Might as well tell the ducks in a pond that you’re thinking about and praying for the families in Texas, because you have nothing else to offer to the solution or their grieving process.
But we all know that, especially for lawmakers, it’s not really about thinking or praying, it’s about virtue signaling that they “care.” And they do that by “sending” a Trojan horse in the form of a tweet or a statement.
It’s the mirage of an action verb.
It’s the illusion of caring; it’s essentially wiping their hands clean of any responsibility.
I wish lawmaker tweets read, “Sending this tweet to let everyone know that I’m thinking about what happened in Texas and I’m praying to God that he can provide some sort of support because I have no idea what I could do about it, and I don’t have interest in spending time to figure it out.”
Life is about our verbs. Lawmakers should not be allowed to hide behind ghost verbs like “sending thoughts and prayers,” when they are in their role to do precisely everything other than think and pray.
It would be like a superintendent who, instead of fixing a faulty hand rail that is killing students, tweets out that she’s sending family members thoughts and prayers for their loss.
WTF. You wouldn’t stand for that. Fix the handrail!
If you’re not going to do anything about something you have direct control over, then you can’t say you care.
What can we do? Don’t send thoughts and prayers. God clearly has no interest in helping us with this problem, and our thoughts haven’t done a thing.
Pester. Demand. Request your lawmakers to do better. March. Write. Organize. All action/active verbs that can move a needle.
School shootings are not an act of God, they are a failure of society.