Monday, February 11, 2013

The Heart of the Matter

Our nation is still reeling over the senseless murders of Newtown, Connecticut's children, teachers and administrators. Since that horrible day, more tragedies have occurred, and common sense seems to have flown out the window. So much so, that wild talk is being heard at every corner of the nation. But let's put aside the craziness of the responses and stop and consider the loss of precious children, their teachers and their administrators. The very heart of the matter takes us to those left behind.

There is no doubt in my mind that those lost to us on the 14th of December have been welcomed into heaven, cradled in the arms of our Savior and loved ones, and are doing just fine. But for those left behind to deal with the senselessness of the act and the loss of their loved one, the journey through sadness is just beginning.

There are the five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. The first stage hits quickly, and is passed through nearly as quickly. The anger, that's the phase we're in now. And with that anger comes lots of wild ideas to "fix the problem" without considering the ramifications of these ideas. That's what anger does, it rids the mind of reason and renders logical thought nearly impossible.

But can we stop and consider the lives of those lost, how they indelibly touched us, and what they have contributed to their families, their neighborhoods, their school, their city, the nation and the world. In our rage to find a solution, we've forgotten to consider that it may be wise to stop, think and then act.

Family is the "be all" and "end all" of life on this planet. There are good families, and there are bad families. And, there are those who have no family at all. God put us on this world in a family unit patterned after the one we left behind, so that we could master the family dynamic, have a solid foundational support, and to remember that no success in the world will ever compensate for failure in the home. A mother, a father, and children if they were doubly blessed, comprise the family unit. In that unit, each person plays an integral role in the functioning of that family. When one piece of that family is ripped away, the family still functions, however, there is a hole never fully replaced, but the healing can begin, and life can be happy again.

Turn from the madness of last sixty days, and remember the good things, the happy things, the silly things, and things you love most about your loved one. Concentrate on the good, rather than the bad. It happened. It's horrible beyond all measure. It should never have happened. But it did.

As a family, remember, embrace, turn to God, and work together to heal.

And to Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary, as a school, don't throw away a perfectly good school, but work together to clean it up, make it bright and new, and hold a series of community events there to remove the psychological stain. Organize the parents, children, and police to come into the school and take part in the healing of the school, and the taking back of the school from the single act of a madman. Do not let the madman win.

As a city, work together to become cohesive, strong, and stable. Your police need to be visible on the streets, your mayor needs to address the city, your city council needs to be wise, and your citizens need to unite in the healing process. In addition, every administrator and teacher needs to become conversant with guns. When the principal rushed Adam Lanza he died in a hail of bullets. What if he had simply removed his gun and shot Lanza in the heart and head? How many people would have lived then? This discussion is one that must take place if we are to keep our schools safe and less of a target by madmen.

As a nation, we need to stop the ridiculous talk of "more" gun control, as if 300 gun laws on the books aren't enough, and start shining a light on mental illness. We need to focus on the root of the problem, not the symptom. Take the guns away and they'll find another way to kill. I give you Timothy McVeigh as an example. The guns are not the problem. Society is.

Copyright 2013. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

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