I watched the news all afternoon, I stayed up late and watched more, then turned on the TV over my morning tea and bagel and watched some more. I was trying to get my head around what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on that cold near winter’s morning.
It seems like this sort of person-on-person violence is escalating, but is it really? People have been harming people for millennia in the name of religion, power, land, natural resources and material wealth. This happens everyday all over the world, in fact on the very same day as the sad events in the US, a man entered a primary school in China and stabbed and wounded 22 children. It is reported that several of the children had severed fingers and ears! Are we just seeing more of this because we have access to rapid and numerous forms of communication?
Then we look at the heartbreaking fact that bystanders on the Time Square subway platform had 22 seconds to help Ki-Suck Han climb off the tracks before he was hit and killed by an oncoming train … but they did not reach out to him.
I ask myself what is going on? We can blame guns, lack of education, the slackening of moral values, the absence of religion, etc. but I think there is something more fundamental missing. I think we are losing personal connections and support. Whilst I am a huge proponent in my work for personal responsibility, I do also feel that it is a personal responsibility of each and everyone one of us to help our fellow man in the best way we know how. Any little act of kindness will help.
This all starts at the grass roots level. And this is why I have called this blog entry “A Call to Arms”. It is our responsibility to reach out a hand to, or put our arms around, those who might need our help or support. Sometimes a hug is all we need. We don’t always need people to fix our problems or issues. We just need to know people care, are around and that we have been "seen".
People just want to feel safe, and this will be the biggest challenge parents of the surviving children at Newtown will face when supporting their children in the weeks and month to come.
At the same time, those of us who feel obliged to step up and take a stand against this increasing dissatisfaction and discontent with each other should find ways to be as vocal and as involved as we are comfortable with. It’s time to band together and raise our “arms” and “fight” as “warriors” going into “battle” for a peaceful world.