A great tragedy happened in our nation this week when 26 people, 20 of them young children, were killed in a school shooting. It seems unreal to even write these words, so mind-boggling and unfathomable. Frightened children and grieving families are on all of our minds at this time and in many of our prayers. In a small way, our hearts ache along with them.
What can we do so that we don’t simply go back to business as usual? We all work through difficulties, tragedies, and disasters in our own way. Here are a few of the things I plan to do.
*Light a candle each day for a while and spend a few minutes in silence. Pray for the grieving families and a community in shock. Think about things I can do to make the world better and safer.
*Cherish the children in my life. Give them hope and encouragement whenever I can. See them as people in their own right.
*Continue to volunteer in a local restorative justice program working with juveniles. Some of these young people have experienced bullying and many feel that they don’t fit in. Work in whatever ways I can to bring these issues out in the open and help each young person see their own worth.
*Bring beauty into the world in as many ways as possible.
It has been theorized that the universe is a hologram. I don’t pretend to really understand this, but it means that the whole is contained in each part so that when one small part of the world experiences a change, the whole world is changed. That would mean that we can’t use the excuse that we’re only one person so we can’t really do much. Every positive change we make really does change things on a global scale. That should make us live our lives differently and more consciously.
I won’t get into the issue of gun control here. Of course, some gun control is necessary, but it still doesn’t get at many of the root issues of gun violence or any violence. I know there are people right now with creative ideas to change media in our country. If violence and sensationalism simply became unacceptable at the level we’re now seeing, things might change. If people shut off their televisions when tragedies were replayed over and over, things might change. I am hopeful that inspired people with the right motivation will begin to make changes in video games, t.v. programming, movies, and news.
The subject of mental health probably needs to get more attention. Again, I believe there are gifted, inspired people who can help us gain understanding in this area and bring real solutions. I plan to read more to educate myself about the issue of mental health.
Right now newtownparentconnection.org is giving all donations to those directly affected by this recent tragedy.
Whatever you do, don’t give up hope. In memory of all those beloved children and adults that lost their lives, roll up your sleeves, do what you can, and hug a child today.