I feel fragile at best, a puddle of insecurities and hopelessness at worst. This latest shocking tragedy in Connecticut has caused me to want to turn tail, run to my Mommy and Daddy’s house with my children and hide away from the world and all it’s madness.
While I have been successful at avoiding the real time news on TV, avoiding the online information has been more difficult due to the gargantuan number of meta tags I use to send me the most up to date information on all things disability, inclusion, and social justice related.
It would be so much easier to be able to find an appropriate vessel in which we could all deposit the blame and responsibility. I have watched in numbed silence as learned, educated folks call for more gun control, more fulsome access to mental health services and support, more education on bullying, zero tolerance for violence in schools, and most alarmingly, the arming of teachers and school administrators, making our schools a veritable military zone.
If ONLY the enemy was foreign to us all. Some sinister force for evil that resides in a far away land, that is unknown to us, that fully and completely embodies all the cruelty and hate and disregard for the lives and wellbeing of our children. Sadly it does not and is not.
Here is what I think. It seems to me that the greatest threat to our health, wellbeing and ability to live in harmony, LIVES WITHIN EACH OF US. We saw incredible acts of selflessness and heroism un-fold within this tragedy. We were witness to citizens who put the safety and care of others before their own and paid the ultimate price for their efforts.
But what of how we got here?
We all have the ability to reach out to our fellow human beings with love and compassion. We can be another’s strength when theirs has faltered and crumbled. We can be each other’s shelter when we are alone under the elements. We can take a hand when it is alone and frightened. We can walk with someone when the road becomes treacherous and full of danger. We can strive to see the world beyond our front porch.
Feel love, do good, search out the positive, be the change, touch someone’s experience however unpleasant, or scary or unfamiliar.
Care and demonstrate that caring as HARD AS YOU CAN. Step outside your self and experience the world through the eyes of someone with a radically different paradigm.
DO MORE THAN WORRY about people who have no one in their lives, invite them into yours. Practice radical, improbable and inconvenient hospitality. Stop frantically searching for a place for blame and begin to assume responsibility for the love that those vulnerable people living on the margins of our communities are often so bereft of.
I am responsible for you and you are responsible for me. Interconnectedness, community, and unrestrained, unfiltered abject love are the only ways forward.
The antidote for this kind of wound can only be found in our relationship to others.
Here’s to giving, reaching, and touching someone who needs you now during this festive season and throughout the year.
Wishing you love, gratitude and peace on Earth.