In the wake of the most recent events (we’re talking hours, here) ride a few very dubious entities. Tragedy, Loss and Fear. They are having a heyday skiing on the tears of a community ripped apart by Violence.
In Newton, CT, this morning, a shooting happened at a school. The numbers are still coming in as to the staggering amount of loss, but suffice to say that the number is near 30, with the majority being children.
My heart breaks with this news. For those of us that will probably never have children (and certainly most who have), we are outraged by the fact that people could have such a cavalier attitude toward our innocents. Why did this happen?
We may never know. And this tragedy will spark many arguments: gun control, mental health, blah blah blah. This is not what we need to be talking about right now. There are more important issues at stake here.
Namely, how do we combat Fear and Loss now that Violence and Tragedy have already made their appearance and done their damage? What we SHOULD be concerned with, is how are we going to help put this community and this nation back together after this Columbine-like incident?
There are parents, families, friends and teachers that will never be the same. The will be very afraid. They will be devastated. They will be hurting. They will be VERY angry!
Let the experts figure out what happened. What we need to do, in our communities, families and schools, is to educate, love and respect. We need to insure this DOESN’T happen. Now, regardless of your argument about guns, that is not the root of the problem. The root of the problem is how we treat each other and recognizing the warning signs.
What is this world coming to that we can’t even have a simple disagreement without coming to blows? What is teaching people that it’s okay to walk into a school and open fire? Where has our compassion gone? Is it video games? Is it violence on television? Is it guns?
No. And people are going to throw a fit over what I believe the answer is. . .but I’m going to tell you anyway. I believe it’s because we have become latch-key parents and guardians. It’s because we are no longer actively involved in what our children are watching, or playing. It’s because WE ARE THE ONES WHO TEACH OUR CHILDREN THAT VIOLENCE IS OKAY!!!!!
Shut off your technology. Shut off the violent TV programs and don’t buy the violent games. If your child sees something that you think is disturbing, then TALK TO THEM ABOUT IT! Get the hell outside and hug and play with your children. Invite your neighbors over for a barbecue. Go visit an elderly family member. CONNECT (not via internet or phone) with the flesh and blood people in your lives! Touch them, don’t text them!
Truly be involved in what goes on in people’s lives. Know your children’s teachers by name. Know their grades. Know how much and what kind of homework they have. Know who your kids’ friends are. Know their parents. Know what your children are watching on TV and reading (on the internet, or in print). Monitor their phones and read their text messages. It’s okay! You are their parent, not their friend.
Incidents like this ARE NOT okay. It is time for us to stand up and fight what’s wrong. It is time to get involved. It’s time for us to actually teach our children and not leave them to electronic babysitters. If you’re going to be a parent, then by God, BE ONE!!
THIS is how we will fight Violence, Tragedy, Fear and Loss.