Healing from Senseless Tragedy

Without a doubt we are all coming out of this weekend a little sadder and a little more heartbroken for all the young lives lost in Friday’s tragic school shooting in Connecticut. I cannot help but think about the potential lost along with those lives, the pain of the families, and the shock and ache of the nation. What happened was unthinkable in so many ways: the children were innocent victims, this school could have been any school and is supposed to be a safe place, and we are supposed to be living in a civilized first world country more advanced than most on this planet. So how could this have happened? Blame is being pointed at the gun laws or the failure of the mental health system or the failure of community support to someone who was perceived as a sad loner. Regardless of whether we choose any one or a combination of those factors, or none at all and believe it was a random act, it doesn’t take away the fact that we have all been changed.

I have chosen not to watch live television or videos on what transpired, and have also attempted not to go overboard reading about the details (although I’m still struggling with the motive – what would possess a young man to so completely lose faith in society and head to the other side with such anger that he would take it out on children?). I do find myself looking for comfort. I’ve spent a lot of time with my kids this weekend, hugging them, engaging them in all kinds of conversations, and just being with them, feeling my own good fortune. I have looked to our leaders for comfort as well: the President, my rabbi, and others.

But I have found the greatest comfort for me is the belief that the world is a good place and that people are genuinely good. Yes, I do believe, after this horrible atrocity, that we will learn from this tragedy.  My hope is that as people and communities, we will connect with and reach out to each other with greater conviction that it is the obligation for each of us to look out for one another. And I pray that our anger will lead to action, whatever that may look like: lobbying, writing letters to the parents or survivors, or just making it a point to be kind to one another.

But most of all, my belief in the decency, strength and love of people is what will help me go on.

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