I keep visiting some of my favorite blogs to see what their authors have to say about the murders that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary last week. I don’t know why I do this. It’s so stupid. Because there is nothing any of us can say that will make it make any more sense or feel better. And frankly talking to one another about the need to address gun control, mental health care, the media frenzy that has descended upon these families in their darkest hour (can you imagine going to your son’s funeral with cameras pointed in your face and people shouting your name to get the best photo of your grief?); our own sickening impulse to know more more more thereby teaching other disturbed and angry people that they could have their 15 minutes of fame too (Quick, tell me the shooter’s name. Ok, now tell me 3 of the 27 victims’ names.) All this talking to one another is not going to do anything. We are becoming this ugly cacophony of voices that doesn’t make any sense. Yelling at one another in panic and distress and anger. We all have the right answers if just someone would listen.
I just want someone to listen.
So, I’m going to try to quiet my own panicked, distressed, angry voice. And I’m going to try to become what I wish to see in the world.
I don’t have very much power.
But I have a little.
I have the power to never bring a gun into our home.
I have the power to teach my three sons (Yes, it’s a boy!) about the lasting and terrible repercussions of all violence — be it physical, sexual, or verbal.
I have the power to teach my children how to express themselves without using violence.
I have the power to never use violence to express myself.
If I fail at the above, I have the power to make amends and see forgiveness.
I have the power to forgive.
I have the power not to saturate our entertainment with anything that glorifies violence — whether it’s toys, movies, music, or the news, which I sadly view as entertainment.
I have the power to be a source of comfort to my husband, my children, my friends, my family, strangers, even enemies — who may desperately need a source of comfort or an outlet to express their feelings.
I have the power to continue my work with Erasing the Distance to help educate people on mental health issues and help erase the stigmas associated with mental health issues. Maybe through my work, someone who needs help will find the courage to seek it. By the way, the vast majority of people with mental health issues are victims of violence, not perpetrators of it. So don’t let this shooter cloud your judgment on how you see people with mental health issues. He is not a representative of all. He is one man, and should be treated as such.
I have the power to continue my education to become a nurse and one day be able to help heal people who have been affected by violence.
I have the power to tell my government officials how I feel and what I hope they will do in reaction to violent events and to prevent future violent events. I can do it without speaking violently.
I have the power to get involved with advocacy groups that are working towards causes that I believe will make our world a better place for everyone.
And I have the power to continue to seek out ways to make our world more peaceful, safe, and kind.
It’s not much, but it’s something. And that small amount of power is a source of comfort to me.
Wishing you all a season filled with peace, joy and hope.