I think that by now, we've all been affected by the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, CT. What transpired there is absolutely unthinkable. I can not even begin to imagine what the families of those small children & adults are going through. My deepest and most heartfelt prayers and sympathies are extended to everyone affected by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary.
On Friday, as the news coverage unfolded, I had a very hard time tearing myself away from the television. My heart was bleeding listening to the events that occurred. Part of me wanted to turn the TV off and shut it out. Forget what was going on, and go about my day. I mean, who would blame me? It was an awful situation and sometimes it can get to be too much -- to continually hear bad news.
But by the end of the day, I realized the reason why I watch and read the news. It is because that by hearing about these tragic events, and putting myself in the place of those grieving parents, it evokes more compassion in my heart. As a Mother of two little boys, I hope to teach them humility, honor, compassion and tenderness. But the way they are really going to learn these attributes, is by witnessing this example in others.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
Mr. Rogers hit the nail on the head with this one. There are always going to be scary things, always. We can not remove the evil & the suffering from the world. But let us look to the helpers to inspire us. The bad things that happen, they are the things that keep us compassionate and sympathetic. They draw people together and bring unity among us. And unity, that is what our communities need.
There isn't a lot of good to be pulled from the Sandy Hook Massacre. There is so much sadness and confusion. We all ask the question "why?". And we may not ever get the answers in this life. The only thing we can conclude from this horrific crime, is that as people, we can learn from it.
Robbie Parker, the Father of one of the six year old victims, Emilie Parker, said this:
"As we move on from what happened here, what happened to so many people, let it not turn into something that defines us. But something that inspires us to be better, to be more compassionate, and more humble people. Let us please keep the sentiments of love that we feel for our families and the compassion that we feel for others, even complete strangers, and keep them with us at all times. Not just in times of sorrow and tragedy, but may we do this so that we can better our community."
I don't know how he managed to find that perspective only hours after learning of his daughters death, but his words inspire me.
I have discovered that for me, the meaning behind the sadness and sorrow, is to find the ability to better ourselves and soften our hearts. You never know when others might need us.
I've been holding my children a little tighter, giving extra hugs & kisses, and trying to focus more on the things that matter most. Let these events serve as a reminder to us as parents, that life is precious and we should do a little more to cherish the blessings we are given.