Friday, December 21, 2012

Be the Change

I'm going to open up this post the way a lot of bloggers have : I didn't know if I wanted to write about the tragedy that took place in Connecticut, just one week ago today. But I felt compelled to, because it's important to confront the things that we are running from most.

The truth is-I didn't want to think about this tragedy. I DON'T want to think about this tragedy. I DON'T want to envision the faces of those children as the unthinkable happened. In fact, for the first day, I avoided Twitter and even Facebook. Most of the news was wrong in the early hours that it didn't seem to matter: However, the worst part of it had still happened and was very real and it wasn't something I was ready to face...It's something I still have trouble facing each and every day as the AM Magazine gets shoved in my face with photos of funerals for 6 year olds. I can't even read the word Sandy Hook without shivers going down my spine. I remember being bombarded with news about Columbine as a child--and then again Virginia Tech as a college student, but the in-your faceness of all of this seems much more unavoidable.

I'm normally all about the news--in fact, when Hurricane Sandy rolled through, my reaction to the in your face blasts was quite the opposite--it all felt necessary--I wanted to break information to people as often and as consistently as I could. At friends homes, we sat around predicting how bad it would be--what to do if there was a power loss--and how long the trains would be out of service for. The difference is that Sandy was predicted. We were all awaiting it--so when it hit--we were ready. We couldn't prepare for what happened last Friday. Unlike Hurricane Sandy, my friends and I haven't made mention in conversation about the tragedy--and one time when i tried to bring it up, we all changed the subject right away.

I desperately wish I could turn back the clocks and sweep up all those children in my own arms and fly them to safety. I desperately wish the front page of the news this past week was fiscal cliff related, and not human tragedy related. I desperately wish this had never happened.

But there is harm in looking in the past, and wishing things had played out differently--in longing. It's time to heal and to protect ourselves from other situations that might rise similar to this.

As someone disconnected from the Sandy Hook community- the questions , as for most, are how can I help NOW and for the future . There are several answers: I can get educated about gun laws and reform in this country--and then I can educate others. I can also get educated about mental health and  how people can get help for it--and again, educate others. And then I can do the same thing every single one of us can do : I can look inside myself, and ask myself to be a good person, to keep my values and my morals, and to continue treating people with kindness and love--a message that takes only smiles and hugs to send.

 To see change, we need to be the change. We can't change what happened last Friday, but we do have the ability to change what could happen in the future.  So let's start.