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December 18, 2012

What I Know…The Sandy Hook Tragedy

IStock_0babywithtearllI know that 26 families just had their world ripped apart because of the violent act of one 20-year-old young man.
I know that twenty children, -- none older than seven years of age -- had their lives taken in the blink of an eye.
I know that six brave adults were killed trying to save the lives of many.
I know that we cannot always rely on others to protect us.

I know that people are looking for answers and there are no simple answers.
I know that in our search for solutions to these senseless killings that there are many problems to solve: gun control, bullying, mental health care options, better and more thorough mental health care coverage with insurance companies, cultural violence, gaming violence, family issues, various types of abuse and on and on.
I also know that it will take a very long time to solve or even make a big dent in any of these issues.

And I know we have to start somewhere.

I know that change starts with the individual…with you, with me and with every single man, woman and child in our world.
I know that kindness starts with a smile.
I know that inclusion helps others feel a sense of belonging.
And I know it takes a lot of courage to go against the masses.
I know anything short of that, won’t be enough.

I know every human being wants to feel connected, loved and to belong.
I know that meanness hurts.
I know that loneliness can feel unbearable.
I know that we often put others down so we can feel better about ourselves.
I know that putting others down hurts our world and ourselves.
I know that in our effort to be at the top, to be popular and to fit in, we can do
some horrible things that hurt a lot of people.
I know that hurt people…hurt people.

I know that as parents, the best we can do is give our children a healthy sense of self—to teach them they add to this world, are worthy and are truly loved.
As parents, we also have to teach our children that every other individual in this world matters, adds to this world and is deserving of love and kind treatment.
I know that when parents make fun of others, our children do as well.
I know that when adults are abusive, hurtful, mean…we model this meanness to observing children.

I know that some children need therapy and parents must make that call.
I know that often the therapy should be with the family not just the child…and parents have to be courageous enough to be a part of that process and listen.
I know you can’t count on the mental health professionals to “fix” your child/family/marriage; you must do your part.
I also know that good professional help is hard to find and that the more significant the mental health issues…the more difficult it is to get good help.
I know that many parents are crying for help and many mental health professionals are at a loss.

I know that children can be mean to one another and the motto, “Kids will be kids,” allows this meanness to continue.
I know meanness is harming our world.
I know far too many children are crying because of the hurtfulness of others.
I know far too many children are dying at the hands of other children  and young adults who have lost their way.
And I know these killings will continue if we all don’t step into the world in a different way.

We must include, not exclude; listen, not make fun of; be kind, not hurtful and build one another up, not tear one another down.
And we must stop kidding ourselves… the idea that “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people,” is ignorant.  People WITH guns kill people.
And yes…people without guns also kill people, however, many children and adults, are impulsive and reactive; adding a gun to that equation makes it far too easy to kill far too many innocent young children, brave teachers, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers…human beings.
Can we not take part of this problem out of the equation?

I know that it’s time we all stop looking outside ourselves to make the changes that our world so desperately needs. Choose an issue, take a stand, use your voice and …be kind.

Kindness breeds kindness:  start here. Until we all start to step in and practice kindness and inclusion with ALL people—and not just the cool, popular, attractive, “worthy” ones. —we will forever see wounded people wounding people.

Change starts with you…and me.

NOTE: To all the families who lost their loved ones in the Sandy Hook tragedy, I wish words could convey my deepest sorrow for your unimaginable grief and pain.  My heart and prayers go out to you and your families during this devastating time.  I am so sorry for your loss.


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Most of this is nice but clouds the issue of the monster amoung us that will prey apound us as I have experienced. And learned to know that guns are not the problem but how our children are raised in this movie and video swell world.

Dear Kate,
Well said and also very true.

What I know is that I don't know anything for sure. I have seen hurt people be the kindest and kind people hurt people. Life is full of shades of grey and that the ' cool attractive people' often suffer in silence too. What I have learned so far is that we must ' know ' our children to the best of our ability and that our own shadows will be passed on to the next generation if we remain unconscious and unreflective. Some people are so hurt they view kindness as a weakness. We must tread cautiously in life even when we have the best of intentions.

and this is exactly why I refused to allow a gun in my home with my explosive child. Why are parents not parenting any more?

eloquent and profound and oh so true

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