Interrupting your regularly scheduled posting ...
I am staring at the cursor blinking away on my screen as I am trying to piece my thoughts together. I had plans for this post … I wanted to wrap up my Christmas 2012 selection with a stunner of a soup. Then Friday happened and I am not sure how I want to go forth.
Do I continue to post as I usually do?
Do I not post at all?
Do I share my thoughts, my pain, my worries?
Do I stay silent?
When I first heard about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, I was on my way home. Soeren and I were in the car and we were laughing, planning a weekend of ice skating, gift wrapping and baking. As I turned up the volume on the car radio. I felt the wind punched out of my lungs. Was I hearing this correctly?
As the news was pieced together I did not think about the person who committed this heinous act. I did not think about guns or gun laws. I was horrified and shaken, placing myself in the shoes of those parents. They kissed their babies goodbye that morning, the same way I kissed my 10 year old. They probably made plans for the afternoon, for the weekend, the same way Soeren and I did. They probably used their lunch break to sneak into town and collect Christmas presents, the same way I did. You never … ever … think that you might not see your child again when you bring them to class!
I almost felt guilty reaching out for Soeren and being able to hug him … a little tighter than usual.
This Monday I decided to pay my tribute and remember the lost innocent lives of the Elementary School children and the brave teachers who lost their lives too early, with a day of silence. It was what I needed. By Saturday I had turned off the disturbing news on the TV and Monday was another way to shut out the noise and focus on what was important. That was the way I and many of my kind and generous blogger friends joined to pay our respect. My dearest friend Jamie decided to make her voice heard on Monday. She voices her opinion in her article “After Newtown” and nails the issue on hand, daring to ask bold questions. Please take a moment to read it.
The news began putting a face to the shooter, he had a name, he had a life, he too had parents. Only then did Adam Lanza actually became a someone. It was only then I began asking the question Why? and Who does this?
I totally support the cries that are currently being heard all over America to change the gun laws and legislation for gun ownership. It has to happen … it must happen. The Second Amendment is a fossil in our 21st century, becoming warped as time has passed, allowing anyone to possess automatic weapons in the name of freedom. The laws in America need to be changed from it's core. It will be a herculean act in a pro-gun culture like America but there has to be a starting point.
But I believe there is another level to these kind of issues and this level is not just an America-problem but a problem we as humans need to review within ourselves. It is the issue of becoming a stronger supportive society, of not shunning people out for being different or for having mental issues or for dressing differently or for not integrating into cliques.
We are often superficial with our behavior, pushing our kids to extremes because they have to stand their ground in an ever-competing society. They have to be better than their classmates, friends and neighbors kids to make the best of the universities to grab the top-paying jobs. We rob our children of their childhood by forcing them to be high achievers and are easily disappointed at their failures.
Not everyone can take that pressure. I have heard it repeated again and again “Adam Lanza snapped” I also hear his friend say that “up to that moment he was just another kid.”
This is absolutely NO EXCUSE or even trying to find reason for what happened. I am merely posing another level that needs to be considered. Just as the guns have to disappear from the homes, shooting ranges, basements, malls, schools etc. and gun culture need to be addressed, in the same way we need to banish hostility, malignity or the extreme superficial world we have created around us by strengthening our children’s integrity. The time has come that we act as a strong community - together. In my opinion fighting this from both levels would be the “meaningful action” neded.
I hope it does not sound like I am preaching or that I sympathize with the killer, trying to find some sound reason for his actions. It is not my place to do so. My thoughts are with the parents this week who have to walk a very difficult path of laying their babies to rest one final time. I pray that they will find their peace and I hope with every pore in my body that there will never be another incident like this or a “next time” where the name of the killer is replaced but the story, the crime and the guns are the same.
I owe you all a soup … a fairly stunning soup. But it seems rather trite. So, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Hold your loved ones close and enjoy each moment and light a candle for those who can’t this year.
Thank you for taking time and allowing me this space to vent my thoughts and speak my mind.
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