It’s December 21, 2012 9:00 pm and the world didn’t come to an end. Just like it didn’t come to an end on Jan 1, 2012 or when it became year 2000 (Y2K). The world is still going and everyone is carrying out their day to day business preparing for Christmas, the holidays, and New Years. It should be a happy time of the year where families get together and spend quality time, eat lots of food, exchange gifts and wish each other well for the coming year. However, the last week has been one of the saddest and most disappointing weeks thus far. For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, I’m talking about mankind reaching it’s lowest with the tragic events that took place a week ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
A week has gone by and I can’t get the images of the 20 children out of my mind, partly due to the fact that I see them every time I turn on the tv or read the newspaper. It is utterly heart wrenching. I cannot even imagine what goes through the mind of an individual who can look a 6 year old in the eyes and shoot them point blank. This individual has to be greatly disturbed to say the least. It feels like a horrible nightmare. In my 34 years thus far, I have never heard of something so disturbing. This whole week I sat in disbelief watching the news and seeing funerals for these beautiful children so innocent and full of life. I cried every single day as I tried to even imagine what their parents were going through. I think this story shook everyone world wide, but it especially affected me as a new parent.
It made me so sad to think twice about sending your child to elementary school. School should be a safe and fun place full of laughter and learning; not a place where you worry about the safety of your child. It made me wonder what the world is coming to. Although I know that the world is not ending any time soon, it seems that people are becoming increasingly disconnected from each other. In an age of electronic advancements with 3D televisions, active video game systems, the internet, and smart phones, people are making less of an effort to actually connect in person. I know that I am guilty of texting or BBM-ing when I feel too lazy to call someone and talk. I send Facebook messages and think that that constitutes a valid interaction or that I am “keeping in touch” with people. I am as guilty as the next person. The sad part of it is that our kids, the next generation, are growing up with this instant gratification and social media and dealing with things like “cyber bullying” or feeling like an outcast at such a young age.
Getting back to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last week, the shooter was only 20 years old, fairly young himself. No one can deduce what went on in his head or why he planned such a twisted chain of events. I would like to say that it could have been prevented; however, watching one nightly airing of the news or looking through the paper, I see a strew of murders, tales of animal abuse, child abuse, or child pornography and I think to myself: what is going on out there in the world? What is happening to people? When did a life become dispensable and not matter, whether it is the life of an adult, child or animal? Where are all of these guns coming from? Why are there not tighter laws around gun control? How do we look for the signs in people who commit horrible crimes? Who is supposed to identify and help these people before it’s too late? I’m filled with questions as I’m sure the general population is following the Connecticut murders. How do we get justice for these children who’s lives ended way too soon? Honestly, it makes me so sad.
On a brighter note, the only lesson that I can take away from this gut wrenching tragedy is to enjoy every single day and every minute with your child and loved ones. You cannot predict what is going to happen in the near future. This holiday season, make a special effort to spend time with everyone and anyone who matters to you, even if it means driving a little further than you wanted to or talking a little longer on the phone with someone. Make the effort to connect. Pretend that Facebook, Twitter, the Internet or Skype don’t exist. Think of creative get togethers, interesting places to eat at, and get out there and connect! Hug your children extra tight and remind them how much they mean to you. I know there is a lot of evil in the world, but there is still a huge amount of good. Look for the good. Feel the positive energy. Love one another. Teach your children how to love with every ounce of their being.
I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and have a happy and safe holiday season!!!