I felt the compelling need to blog about what happened last Friday. Like the rest of you, I am heart sick.
First, I want to say I feel so much pain for the parents, siblings and families of the victims, I cannot even fathom the pain and grief that they are feeling. I don’t think that there is anything that can be said or done to ease that for them. What makes me sad is that this, like all tragedies do, is turning into politics.
I truly believe politics and religion have no place in our discussions about this…none of us share the exact same experiences or beliefs. And I feel personal agendas should be put aside and we should allow these families time to greive. That being said, in my opinion, the issue at hand is not school safety or gun control. That school was locked, they had a good lock down policy it seems, but evil will always find a way in, as did this gun man. Sure we could take away all access to guns and put bars and alarms on all the windows and doors, but evil will just find another medium.
So what do we do? As a mother and a social worker, I chose to speak to my children about what happened. Sure, I would prefer to preserve their innocence and keep them safe from having to think about such things, but reality is, bad people do exist. And I feel my children need to know that and be prepared to keep themselves safe. We don’t dwell on it, we tell them it exists and we end with telling them there is more good than bad in the world. And i believe that is true. But, as we grow, and watch the news, it doesn’t always seem true. So here is what I think:
Forget gun control and school policy, how about we change what deserves a spot on the nightly news. What if we were able to change the media’s approach to bad things. Sure we need to know about that stuff, it affects us and our safety, but how about we make that the unusual..think of how good you feel when the news ends on a good note, like the Cop that bought shoes for the homeless guy, imagine a world in which we could hear about all the angels among us each day! Be honest, does it not inspire you to do something good when someone does for you? When the story about the football player who spent thousands of dollars on Christmas for kids he doesn’t even know aired, did you not want to go buy a gift and throw it in the box at Toys R Us?
Kindness spreads like wildfire…If we can teach our children that kindness is the norm, and while bad people, and people who hurt others do exist, they are not the norm. There are more people out there who would help you rather than hurt you, if our children could see on a daily basis the amazing things that people do for one another it might become their nature.
Remember that movie Pay it Forward? How awesome would it be, if out of this amazing tragedy came so much good that it overwhelmed us, imagine how healing that would be for the families who lost their angels in Connecticut last Friday, to see that this tragedy brought about more good than this country has seen in many decades? Imagine leaving those evil-doers the message that we will not give them another thought, they will be forgotten, their names will not be in the history books, what we will remember and carry on are those who do good and those people who make a positive difference in the world. Idealist? Maybe, but what if???
I say we start an action, I challenge each of you who reads this today, go do something kind for someone else, or tell others about something kind that you saw. You don’t have to spend money or even a lot of time. Call and old friend, make up an old grudge, call a family member you have had a falling out with; Hold a door for someone, buy a stranger a coffee…let’s carry on the innocent happiness and unconditional love that those children can no longer give. Let’s get back to family values and morality…forget politics, forget gun control, don’t force God on people, let them find Him themselves…Just do what my mother always said…”BE NICE.”