As a father who looks at my children and tears up at the thought of kissing them before the bus for the last time my heart aches, while the ‘craziness’ of being a parent is challenged. As a professional who talks with families and youth daily who could be in the same position as the Lanza family my brain and heart are conflicted.
- Yes, I asked the question of gun control and don’t think that is where the answer lies.
- No, I am not asking the question of “why” because it is a futile question that we as human beings feel compelled to ask. I cannot fathom what would cause a person to unleash such carnage and neither can the majority of people in this world.
- Yes, I am asking the question, “What can we do to heal, help others, and prevent this trend?
The answer lies in our mantra, “GET CONNECTED!”
We can all replace the face of the victims with teachers and children we know and love. I bet we can even replace Adam’s face with someone we either know or see walking around.
I am not naive enough to think that if we simply reach out to others we won’t have these catastrophes. Yet if we all tried one extra act of kindness we have no idea the impact it might have in the life of that person, and the next, and so on.
Reaching out to connect with each other beyond our inner circles won’t change things over night, yet I believe President Obama said it right.
This is our first task — caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.
And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children — all of them — safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?
I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change.
There are many questions and they won’t be answered. My approach to this tragedy is summed up in the word highlighted by myself and my friend Miquette - CONNECTED. Miquette says, ‘we are all connected’ and I believe that to be true. We say ‘get connected’ because we believe though we are essentially connected, there is a percentage of the population that is not connected to themselves or any community, though they are living everyday amongst us.
What a sad commentary. One we aim to change by doing everything in our power to let kids and families with disabilities and health conditions know they matter.
Will it take a smile, a kind word, opening a door, etc.? I don’t know but I know I will do my best to find the humanity in everyone, and connecting.