On the heels of my previous post it seems important to connect the dissipation of care and civility and the benefits of a small life with the horrifying act in Tucson. It's worth wondering if these kinds of acts happen "only" on the larger stage of careless passions; emotions with no anchor and no outlet.
I think very simply we are lost because we are "big" as a nation, as states and in cities...and the expansion of concentrated populations makes us feel indistinct and insignificant or "small" within the "big".
The reasons for this expansion seem bred in the American bone--go west, young man...make your fortune in the grabbing of "unoccupied" territories where you can use untapped resources. This mentality remains while that unbridled opportunity does not.
This "urge" for technological advance is fueled by, well, fuel. And this country made the most of that the fastest. And here we are, expansive yet empty with no soul to fill the giant we have become...we are beings continually empty, grasping after more externalities to fill us.
My suggestion to you (and me) (as before) is to contract. Get small, get local, get familial. In this way we will know our neighbors; know our politics as they effect our lives and our neighbors; know our health should lead to the health of all; know our wealth is familial, neighborly and not the storing up of gain to benefit ourselves and our singular futures. In this way when we give to others we are giving to ourselves as well.