• Shawna Baca

Happy People Don't Hurt Themselves


Every time I check the news these days it is depressing. Breaking News… mass shootings! Or it’s one devastating round of news after another - whether in tragedies, a division in politics or violating peoples’ rights. It feels like every month, there is something reported. Ten-twenty-thirty years ago, these things didn’t happen often. If they did, it was a big shocking ordeal that rocked the nation because they weren't common.


Why are we having these occurrences now almost every month, sometimes a couple times of month? Surely politicians want to blame gun control, and there is a lot there to discuss there on that topic, but right now I want to focus on what's behind the guns. More like questions of why would anyone do something like this? This subject matter had me pondering -- why are these situations increasingly in numbers? And I thought to myself and it dawned on me, "Happy people don’t hurt themselves or others.”


I truly believe that we are hurting in this country on so many levels and people’s mental health have been affected by war, our division, politics, the pandemic, etc. Social media and the media play a big part of it and I believe they are partly to blame for a lot of it, because now a days everyone wants to break news stories that they are willing to stretch truths.


We are becoming a society that is getting desensitized to violence with movies, video games, and the ability to see things that have sensitive content online. Forget silencing someone on Twitter. I have literally seen people being executed or tortured online in videos in third world countries or war zone countries. Memories I cannot erase from my mind, and wished I never had to see. We see these types of violence in movies all the time. We kill characters in video games. And now, we are a world divided by our belief system and moral values.


But... You know, when I am a happy person, I want everyone around me to be happy. I want my friends and people to just be happy and live their best lives. I like to do nice things for people. I give people that I love, hugs. I say, “thank you,” leave bigger tips at restaurants even if the service was so-so. I send thank you notes and think with better emotional intelligence, but when I am unhappy or have been in a state where the world seemed like a scary place to be, bad things happened around me. I isolated. I didn’t want to connect with other people. I’ve been there, in that dark place and space. Thankfully, hurting other people physically or mentally has never really entered my mind.


What we are dealing with in my opinion, and this is just one person’s opinion or an opening to a bigger thought-provoking discussion, is that many people are suffering from mental illness. According to the (AMI) 2022, 19.86% of adults are experiencing a mental illness. Equivalent to nearly 50 million Americans. 4.91% are experiencing a severe mental illness. That is 1/5th of the population. Those are very high numbers. These are not just a few battered or traumatized people, but the fifth of the population experiencing some levels of anxiety, trauma, loss, etc.


We can’t just change a gun law to solve a bigger underlying problem. It has to be even bigger than that. Will it help that some of these people will not have the ability to purchase a gun to harm others? YES! The conversation is not about my personal views on gun control, but more dealing with the person behind the gun and the obvious epidemic of mentally broken people . Mental illness affects 1 in 5 people in the U.S.


There has been much debate on what is to be taught in our children’s classroom, whether or not we should recite the pledge of allegiance and so on. How about teaching basic mental health classes to our kids? Teaching kids how to deal and navigate their emotional barometers, deal with stress and bullying, how about simple techniques on how to handle negative emotions and stress, and confidence building can really help them in far greater ways that will help them successfully walk through life a little smoother. I'm not a parent, but I think we owe it to our kids, and to people suffering.


When you are happy, do you have bad thoughts? What happens to the bad thoughts that come in when you are happy? They have no place to thrive and become alive. You cannot be triggered because you are happy with who your are. And we will not allow those negative thoughts or emotions to be trumped by our current high vibrational state.


Until we deal with the trauma of the blood and tears we shedded for the birth of America, reduce the negative stigma on mental health, help people learn how to deal with building their confidence and sense of self-wroth, and stop for a moment to learn how to practice mental wellness, then I think we will see a reduction in numbers. And for those, like myself that had a hard time out the gate in life, we need to comfort them more.


Happy people just don’t hurt themselves or others.

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About the Author

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SHAWNA BACA

Shawna Baca is the author of the transformational memoir, "FEAR LESS: Conquering the Demons of Mental Purgatory," and an award winning writer, director, and producer. She was selected by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett from more than 20,000 filmmakers to be part of the 2007 FOX television show, On The Lot.  She received a “Mujeres Destacadas” award by La Opinion newspaper and the City of Los Angeles and was honored at the Latina Symposium in Washington D.C. in recognition of her positive portrayal of Latinos and Hispanics in the media. Shawna has been creating New Media content for corporate clients ever since and has produced a feature documentary. She is currently developing the coming of age feature drama, "Space for Raven," which was a second rounder in the 2020 Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition, a 2020 WeScreenplay Diverse Voices - Semi-finalist, and a 2020 Script Pipeline Feature Screenplay - Quarter-finalist. 

She was born in Los Angeles where she currently resides, and is Apache, Yaqui, Spanish and French. 

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