Top of Mind Thoughts…A Week After The Sandy Hook Tragedy

The end of the world predicted by the Mayans today hasn’t happened (at least not yet, although it’s a bit windy here), so thought I would share a few thoughts:

  • The Sandy Hook massacre in CT last Friday was horrible. As a parent, I can’t even imagine what those 20 sets of parents are going through. Many of the reactions are predictable, including the media and the NRA. But many others were touched and reacted with genuine sorrow and compassion. Sometimes the worst of times brings out the best in us. Why does it require a disaster of this magnitude?
  • For years we’ve heard all the arguments about why gun laws can’t and won’t be changed. Now the dialogue has been elevated to talk about protecting children. With a different perspective, we can look to get different results.
  • Complex problems require complex solutions. Putting armed guards in schools is neither appropriate nor comprehensive. Should we require armed guards in movie theatres and shopping malls, too? When does the right to bear arms morph into the creation of an armed police state?
  • We’ve demonized people with mental illness for much too long. We can no more blame a schizophrenic for their illness than we can someone with heart disease or cancer or ALS for theirs. Yet we are open and supportive of physical illness but not of mental illness. This needs to change, for all our sakes.
  • When something doesn’t seem right, do something about it. We are trained as a society to mind our own business and not get involved with others’ issues. How many times post-tragedy have we heard that a particular individual seemed to  have problems or issues, yet nothing was done. It’s time to use our heads and our hearts to do the right thing.
  • The Mayans were off by a week: For 27 people and their families, the end of the world as they knew it came last Friday. The lesson for the rest of us is clear: We never know what tomorrow will bring. We need to do the right things today and not put off the big decisions and the small pleasures till tomorrow.
  • You can take action for change or wait till change acts on you. Be part of the solution–don’t wait for magic solutions to come search for you. We have the opportunity to learn from tragedy and change the trajectory of the future. Not to do so would be a terrible waste.
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