December 16, 2012
What to Say About Sandy Hook?
It feels too weird to continue on with normal blog posting without acknowledging the horror that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday.
Does anyone else feel more than usually rocked by this tragedy?
We live in a world where senseless violence is so common that to carry on every day, we have to learn to thicken our skins and steel our hearts and avert our eyes, or risk being overwhelmed.
But every now and then something so shocking happens that it pierces that armor. We can't help but cry out with normal human feelings of horror and grief and outrage. Is there anything more incomprehensible than the intentional slaughter of children and those trying to protect them?
I can't imagine what the families and the folks living in the Newtown Connecticut community are going through. They are all in our hearts as they try to cope and somehow make their way forward.
And I also feel for all of you who are parents of young kids, or teachers, or have violent deaths or sudden tragic losses in your past. This has to hit on an even deeper personal level. So many of us are struggling with how to react. (And for a beautiful pictorial example of this collective desire to express our sorrow, stop by Hilary's post at The Smitten Image).
I hope this grief rouses us into taking a stand against special interests and politics as usual, and that we, as a country, confront the insanity that is our gun legislation. But at a personal level, I'm trying to temper the anger I feel at yet another senseless tragedy caused by a disturbed person with access to assault weapons. Action is helpful; mere seething and blaming, not so much.
Instead I want to take tragedy as a reminder to love, to appreciate, to reach out, to be open and gentle and careful with others, whomever they may be. Because.... well, one never knows when tragedy might suddenly strike. Opportunities for compassion are not infinite and unlimited.
Life is precious. And sometimes all too short.