Monday, December 17, 2012

And When We Move On

When a tragedy like the Newtown, CT shooting occurs I always think to the post period, meaning a month from now, a year from now, 10 years from now etc. It's so easy to get caught up in the swarm of media coverage until the wave of the next tragic story comes along. I have not been watching the news but instead I've been thinking about all of the tragedies that have happened that we quickly move on from as one story overtakes the other: Chandra Levy, Hurricane Katrina, Natalee Holloway, the AZ and Aurora shootings, Hurricane Sandy...I could go on. (I've listed the stories that have come to mind immediately for having huge media coverage.) 

There are going to be a swarm of bloggers taking to write posts about Newtown, social media statuses telling us to hug our kids tightly etc. but the real question is what are you going to do to combat the senseless acts of violence? How are you going to take action?

As I've read those that have quickly taken to their keyboards to share their thoughts it appears that it is more than a gun control issue but a mental health issue as well. 

We cannot recoil into ourselves, attempt to insulate our families and bind ourselves in fear. What's most important is reaching out to each other in our communities. When we see someone who needs help, support, lend an ear, help them get the help they need. 

Government may be a start but that is not where all the power lies. It is within us. 

I haven't made status updates, Tweets etc. about the Newtown shooting, but instead the one item I have found that really spoke to me was this: 

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world." -- Mister Rogers (The Fred Rogers Company has helpful resources for discussing tragic events in the news.) 

What am I going to do? I am going to be alert and continue to be so. Not just from a "if you see something, say something" perspective as is the common phrase here in NYC, but from a "if I see my neighbor who needs help, I will help" perspective. You never know the silent struggle someone is going through. 

Let's be there for each other. Always. Not just for a week or a month, but for a lifetime.

P.S. I'll be back later this afternoon with the blog post I had initially scheduled for today. It's also for an important cause so please come back to check it out. Thank you!