Photo from MSN, AP photographer Kevin Clifford
“The unthinkable has happened again,” said the mother of Newtown victim. When will enough be enough? How many children (and adults) have to die before we are outraged to say, “Enough!”
Beyond asking and addressing the obvious questions of how did he get a gun and why did he do it, we should be going deeper and addressing the societal norms that have produced these kinds of circumstances. Although school shootings are not uncommon ((Click here to see a list of school shootings) twenty years ago, we never could have fathomed that something like this was possible; that anyone would turn their hatred and anger upon children. And yet, it seems the children are crying out in anger and hatred at a younger and younger age.
What has gone awry that the solution that comes to the mind of child, let alone an adult, is violence and murder? When will we address the family dysfunctions, lack of or inappropriate use of discipline and even further, absentee fathers who offer no structure or model for which young children learn.
When will we say no to violent video games and yes to family dinners.When will engage with our family and our children instead of the internet or the TV? When will America finally look itself in the mirror and say that we need to change? And not turn to a government to decide for us by what ethical guidelines and restrictions or freedoms we need. When will right be right because it is right and not because it’s right for me right now? When will wrong be called out for what it is and not coddled and made excuses for?
Not until we, as individuals, decide that enough is enough and make right decisions for the sake of it being right, and choosing the future and hope and love for our children, rather than the hedonistic, self-focused individualism that has allowed a child to choose to pick up a gun, take it to school, and point it at another human being and cause immeasurable pain suffering and the end of another.
We are slowly digging our own graves and nailing the lid on our coffins when we refuse to teach our children right from wrong, tell them no, and follow through. When we are absent from their lives because we are too busy- whether it’s for selfish reasons or because we have been left to raise a child on our own.
When we remove the rose colored glasses of selfishness, individualism, and anything goes and take a long, deep look at the American Soul, we will be ashamed of what we see. We will be angered by what we see and not recognize the nation that we have become. Our inability to manage ourselves and the choice that “what ever I feel, I should do” has lead us to this place where our children are murdering other children. This is the American we have become. And telling the government that we need them to pass more laws and dictate our life is not the answer.
The answer lies in self reflection, in seeing what we have become for what it truly is and choosing life, love, and a hope for a better future. Choosing discipline and saying no. To having our children view us as “mean” parents rather than giving in to every whim and indulgence children may have. They will respect us for it and thank us for it.
Whatever the aftermath of Columbine, Virginia Tech, Newtown and the countless others, it is time we looked at ourselves to blame as a society. We may need to consider that we area ll to blame and are all responsible for picking up the pieces and choosing how we put them back together. We can continue to foster such behavior or we can make a choice to do something different. As for me? I don’t have kids yet, but to the children I do know – I will show them love, forgiveness, and boundaries. And when I do have children I will teach them love, respect, and kindness. Violence will not be tolerated and discipline will be used to teach and not to hurt. I can only do so much, but think what we could do as a society if we practiced such behaviors?!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
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