Yesterday I woke up excited to wish my family Happy Valentine's Day and then last night I tucked my children in holding on to them a little longer. My heart breaks with the parents who will not have that moment again with their child, or the child with their parent.
I simply can't believe another school shooting happened - again.
There are so many layers to these tragedy's. And what all these layers reveal to me is that the way we are doing things is backwards.
We put money over people.
We put words over action.
We put tests over character.
We put shame over compassion.
We put selfishness over selflessness.
Our world is upside down and living from the outside in. Things need to change, from within the walls of our homes to our government's laws and policies.
The questions this leaves me with are...
What is mine to do?
What can I DO today that can be a part of the changes that are needed?
I wish I had clearly defined answers, for both of us. If you have ideas, please share them with me.
As I brainstorm, here are some action steps...
- We need to make time to connect with our loved ones consistently in person and let them know that they matter.
- We need to invite others into our homes that need connection too.
- We need to be an example to our children with our words and actions that violence is NOT an option to resolve conflict.
- We need to step in and stand up for what is right, even when it is hard.
- We need to listen to our children when they speak. Their truth may seem insignificant to our troubles but it is significant to them and their hearts and voices need a safe place to be heard.
-We need to break free from our comfortable circles and extend the hand of friendship to people different than ourselves.
- We need to judge less and love more.
- We need to demonstrate to our children how to build strong relationships with others - and if we don't know how, we need to humble ourselves and learn for their sake.
- We need to acknowledge our teachers are spread very thin and what is expected of them is superhuman.
- We need to put teaching the whole child at the center of education.
- We need to get programs established in schools (such as the Positivity Project and Growing Leaders) that connect with children, from the ones who are smiling with depressed hearts to the ones who are given in-school suspension or are expelled, and equip them with life skills that can help transform their life.
- We need our children to know we care more about their hearts and minds than about their test scores.
- We need to reach out to our lawmakers and demand they make decisions that are in the best interest of the children of our country (not based on who they are funded by) because that is a legacy that is worth leaving behind.
- We need lawmakers who will put people over money, who will stand up for what's right, even if they are standing alone, and who are compassionate and humble enough to see they are part of the problem - and the solution.
- We all need to choose to serve one another above ourselves.
These are some thoughts yet there are so many layers. I'd love to hear your constructive thoughts.
My hope is that we all take a moment to...
Pause. Breathe. Pray.
May we wrap these families and communities with our love and prayers and then go do what is ours to do, even if it feels like nothing. As Confucius said, "the man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."
Let's move one stone at a time and together we will move this mountain so no parent will have to lose their child, or child a parent, this way again.
With love, prayers and hope,