Words cannot begin to describe my feelings toward the tragedy that happened at the Newtown Connecticut Elementary school on December 14th, 2012. My sincere condolences go out to those families and loved ones who lost someone that they loved. I can't even imagine what those poor families are going through, it tears me up inside thinking about it. I'm sure you parents out there are both grateful and fearful. Grateful for your children being safe and fearful hoping that it never happens to your family. Even a single incident like this is one too many, however the world is no stranger to violence and violence will continue to plague our human condition as it always has. In its wake it will leave people afraid, confused and in search for meaning, answers, security and comfort. Each of us will come to various conclusions on how to deal with our feelings of vulnerability to the uncertainties our world brings us. Each of us will think of ways to protect ourselves; those we love; the life we have grown accustom to and feel entitled to. Our rational minds will try to put logic to the events that have passed: How? Why? How could it have been stopped? And (maybe) most importantly, how can we stop it from happening again? Everyone has a different opinion on these answers; our need for some type of meaning, for things to make sense is deep and visceral. We need answers to our questions to feel safe, even if the answers that we come up with end up being completely wrong, misguided or even create larger problems, the sense of stability is still so important to us that we are often willing to believe in lies or things that will later seem preposterous.
You may be wondering what my point to all of this is? So here it is: I don't know how you are going to make sense of all of this, but however you do choose to put things together, be mindful of your decision because it will continue to shape how you live in your world around you. The decisions you make today will determine the life you live tomorrow.
To feel emotions is healthy, but taken to extreme, fear will make your world small and painful. Anger and hate toward others will eat you alive and bleed into your own relationships leaving your life hollow and empty. Fearful people are those who feel dis-empowered and who have no clarity and faith in something bigger than themselves. Fearful, angry, hateful people are reactionary and dangerous.
Do you want to feel more safe? A good start is to follow Reinhold Niebuhr's famous words:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
More answers lay with:
- Clarifying the Universal Life Value, that all life is to be protected and respected.
- Empowering more protectors.
- Work toward most good least harm for all.
- Inspire others to be leaders.
Be well and keep going.