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We’ve all watched in shock the news reports of the tragedy in Arizona, and this causes us once again to dig deep into our souls to search for meaning. Why would someone do this?

Let me start by saying that I am not a psychologist. But, like most of you, I’ve lived and read and think I have a fairly good grasp on why people do the things they do. Typically, behavior is rational and can be explained by basic motives. But, there are those random cases where behavior is so bizarre it leads to a poignant question of why? The Arizona shooting is one of those.

Here’s what we know. The perpetrator is a 22 year old who posted numerous rants on his Myspace and Facebook pages, and noted therein that his favorite books were Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto. I guess it’s fair to say that nut cases like to read each other’s works! He talked about government mind control using grammar. Ok, I think most of us living in the normal world would say he’s a little off kilter.

I do think we can say his actions were not purely politically motivated in that he wasn’t looking to affect a true political outcome. This is different than say the motives of a political assassin who quite rationally engages in an act to change political policies. No, all the evidence that’s been released indicates that this person lived in his own little paranoid world, and while he rants about the mind control of governments, his favorite books are those relating to the most government? Clearly, a mind in confusion.

To say that his actions were motivated by today’s heated political environment, as done by the local Sheriff, is I think not accurate. We’ve had nutcases before. Do we not recall the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln, of William McKinley, of John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and the attempts on Ronald Regan, Gerald Ford, and the threats against so many political leaders? No, this isn’t new. Whether it’s John Hinckly, Jr. thinking he’ll win Jodi Foster’s heart, or this nut case who wants his day in the spotlight, they always have been, and always will be with us.

But on our emotional path, we need to stay on the straight and narrow and not give in to the fear and anger that this type of behavior elicits. We need to calmly keep it in perspective, not to belittle the tragedy at all, not at all, but to make sure that we make decisions based on a broader perspective, not based on the anger or fear we feel as the result of a madman’s actions. Otherwise, he does win!

And our elected officials need to do the same, and I respect their challenge here. How easy it would be for all Senators and Representatives to ask for an effective lock down on their lives like the President is forced to do. But this would threaten the very nature of our nation and so isolate the political class that there would be no connection to the people they supposedly represent. And this would be a true tragedy. Thus, the challenge for them is substantial – I mean, if I were one of them, I would be thinking of my family and the fear would be real. So, the Emotional journey of our elected representatives has clearly been road-blocked and they are called upon to show great wisdom, and courage in this time as they reset their emotional journeys to one that is clear, and free of fear, uncertainty and doubt. There’s enough of that going around without actions like this impacting us.

As I’ve expressed before, my prayers and thoughts go out to the victims and to their families. May they find comfort in this terrible time of need!

Author's Bio: 

Steve Beaman is the Author of "Happiness & Prosperity in the 21st Century: The Five Paths To a Transformed Life". He has authored over 100 articles relating to the Five Paths including articles on Financial Prosperity, Emotional Wellness, Physical Health, Intellectual fulfillment, and Spiritual Security. He enjoyed a highly successful career in Economics and Finance prior to establishing The Steve Beaman Group. The "SBG" is an organization dedicated to helping people on their journey of life.