So many innocent families in Newtown, Connecticut are heartbroken as they plan funerals for their loved ones and mourn their overwhelming losses. The whole country is searching for understanding and answers for themselves and their children. How can we comprehend the confusing reality of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook School?
Perhaps we can’t – it may be just too multi-faceted. Chances are, despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, there will always be people struggling with mental illnesses. It can be a no win solution for parents who have an adult child who is severely emotionally disturbed. If the tipping point is the transition into adulthood – with changes in hormones and brain development – the parents’ inability to intervene because their child is now an adult can be frustrating, frightening and a serious social problem. We can fight for easier access, earlier intervention, more resources, changes in treatment protocols, comprehensive insurance coverage and better protection in our schools, but is that enough?
If we are going to end the murder of innocents, we need to put children before deadly dogmas. It’s time for a culture shift on guns and violence, enforcement of firearm regulations, renewing the assault weapons ban and comprehensive background checks.
With the power of our collective sense of resolve, there’s a lot of work to be done. If this is the new normal, we must not scare our children but caution them. Returning to a routine, with structure and the familiar, will be a welcome distraction. And as we feel less vulnerable by providing protection, security and love, our kids will naturally take their cues from us.
Good can come out of something so bad. And we can best honor the victims of this tragedy and their memory by taking action. Let their legacy be our paying it forward with acts of kindness. People all over the country have begun to deliver care packages to the homeless, collect teddy bears for students in Newtown, write messages on walls of kindness. How will you be a catalyst for change?
Log on here Thursday, December 20th, for a Virtual Book Tour with author Kare Anderson who will describe ways to connect better with others based on her book, “Moving from Me to We.”
You may want to know that our video blogs for Real Health have recently been featured by our friend and colleague, Carol Orsborn. You’ll find them on her blog, Fierce with Age: the Digest of Boomer Wisdom, Inspiration and Spirituality.