Today I was heartbroken. The news hit hard. Over twenty people in Connecticut dead; eighteen children. I clung to the radio in my car, trying to understand. Why? Is it the lapse of federal gun laws? Is our mental health system so deteriorated in this country as not to get these psychopaths the care or seclusion they need? I was angry. I wanted to blame the killer, I wanted to blame society, myself and everyone. Is this something that will keep happening until everyone is numb? Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine… it feels the same and yet it doesn't. A grown man decided to enter an elementary school and commit a vicious act of evil beyond comprehension.
I thought all of this on my way to volunteering at a local elementary school. I expected lock down but no one else had even heard. It was better that way. The kids carried on much like they always do. I played games and pushed two young girls on the swing, thankful they were okay. That’s all any of us can really do right now. We can only be thankful for our children and the ones around us and pray that they stay safe.
When someone takes the life or innocence of a child it shatters us. Maybe it’s because we see in them the ability to extend our own mortality; maybe it’s because our hope for a brighter future is tarnished. I know for one, when I see my niece or any young child, I see hope; the potential for someone to live and do the things I never could. I doubt often I can change the world but never them. They are free; vulnerable but free. And when society fails to protect them it fails everyone.