Priorities

About the author

Stephen Headrick

Stephen Headrick

Stephen Headrick is better known to the bass fishing world as the Smallmouth Guru. He lives in Celina, Tenn., and is the owner of Punisher Lures.

It’s Thursday evening. There’s a blizzard sweeping across most of smallmouth country. In some places the winds are 50 mph. They’re 30 mph almost everywhere. On top of that it’s bitter cold with snow, ice and rain falling hard. As much as I like to fish I have to say that you’d be nuts to try it in this weather. This is the time to talk fishing, not do it. Besides, it’s Christmas.

This is a time when we should be with our families remembering the true meaning of this holiday, and taking more pleasure in giving gifts than in receiving them. Lord knows, the more we do of that the better off we’ll all be. Last Friday’s mass murder really brought that home.

How someone could kill that many people he didn't even know — including 6 and 7-year-old kids — is beyond my understanding. They didn’t do anything to him or hurt him in anyway. They were just there. He had no issues with them. So why kill them?

The obvious answer to that question is that he had some sort of mental problem. I can accept that, sort of, but at the same time I have to admit that I can’t understand it. It just makes no sense. I don’t claim to be a great writer. Maybe if I was I could express myself better. All I can say is that I really don’t know what to say. It’s awful, pure evil.

And the thing is that whether or not we ever figure out why he did it will make no difference to the victims or to their families. Nothing can bring them back. They’re gone. The pain and suffering left behind will never go away for those families. Their lives will always have a big, dark hole in it.

The evil that I’m writing about brings home something we should all keep in mind. We never know what tomorrow will bring. The ones we love the most can be taken from us in a second. And it can happen without warning, when we least expect it. We should take advantage of every minute with them that’s available.

As you can tell, I’m upset by all of this. It bothers me that people can’t live in this society without killing each other. It just makes no sense. That’s why I’m not all that upset by the weather. It’s miserable and I (we) can’t go fishing. I don’t like it but it’s not like it’s the end of the world. If we’re alive next week we can always go after them then.

I’m not going to worry about smallmouth bass right now. I’m going to concentrate on spending time with my wife, my little girl and my friends. It seems to me that’s the most important thing. They’ll be with me even when the fish don’t bite.

Like I said, it’s Christmas. Those of us lucky enough to still have our loved ones with us should take advantage of that.

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