I want to take a moment to pray for the poor children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and for their families. I was devastated to see the news and I am heartbroken for those families.
Stories like this hit me so hard, especially as a mother. I always want my babies safe and close, protected not only from the nutjobs of the world, but from the fear and the uncertainty that these nutjobs create. I hate so much that we live in a world where we can't feel safe going to a movie theater or sending our children to school. Is this really the world we live in? Is it just majorly magnified because of the media? How am I going to explain events like this to them when they are older?
I agree so strongly with a quote from Morgan Freeman (well, supposedly) that I've seen floating around on Facebook today. He makes the very wise point that the incessant media coverage that invariably arises around these events should be focused on the victims, the people who tried to protect them, and the brave people who are dealing with the aftermath. We should be focused on helping and healing, not dedicating countless news time and national attention to somebody who could do such a horrific thing.
I had started writing a post on 9/11 of this year and never finished it, but it seems appropriate here too. I never really understood why people of our parents' generations always wanted to say where they were when JFK was shot. What on earth difference did it make? But you know what, we all do it now every year on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. And now I understand. When my daughters ask why it matters, I will tell them that it was a pivotal time in our nation's history. When the entire country came together emotionally and spiritually in the face of something evil and incomprehensible. Those lost in the attack were mourned and honored. The NYFD and NYPD heroes were lauded and cheered. Prayer circles were held and communities united to help those directly affected. That attack on NYC might have been 10 years ago, but we can all remember that day like it was yesterday, and the American soul changed as a result of it.
We cannot let evil win. We have to keep functioning and we have to keep living our lives and we have to keep our humanity. We cannot be paralyzed and we should not allow monsters to rob us of precious moments with our families and with our lives. We have to provide resources and aid to members of society who need mental help and we need to stop glorifying the gruesome and the villains in the news media. There are so many positive and uplifting things in the world, and we, as a society, need to start channeling the good, and stop letting the evil be a dominant force. For every monster in the world, there are thousands of heroes right on the scene striving to fix the world and make it a better place, and it is those heroes who we should be celebrating. This is the world that our children are going to grow up in and inherit and we cannot let things like this continue to happen. We, and our children, have the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", and we cannot let terrorists take those rights away from us.
And for now, we need to pray unceasingly for the Sandy Hook families and we need to hug our children even closer.