I began this post a few weeks ago and never got to publish it. I wasn't going to put into words how sad and hurt I was over the shootings in Connecticut. Mostly because I can't even accurately describe my feelings...I deleted "sad and hurt" 3 times before deciding if those were the only words I could use. However, I could never describe my own feelings simply with words, yet I feel the need to express something, and so I tried my best.
During one of my evening runs I allowed my ipod songs to play through without skipping and shuffling through to my favorites. One song I forgot I downloaded was Jack Johnson Good People. This was the day of the tragic shootings in Connecticut. As a mental health provider in the school systems, as a mother, as a friend, as a person who loves children, as an aunt, as a human being this event made me sick, sad, horrified, helpless, hopeless, and just numb. I am sure I am not alone with these feelings as our nation was grieving over this. Since those events I have read and heard the debate about mental illness and gun control. I watched our president tearful on national television and stating we need to change. I have read and listened to people discuss " absence of God" and then I read FB postings about wanting the shooter to rot in "hell". I sat through speakers discussing what to do in the case of an emergency within the schools. I have pondered in my own mind what could I do to help the kids in the classrooms I am in if something like that were to happen. I have cried, I have cried, I have prayed, I have cried.
So, back to the song...the words rang in my ears, for anyone who hasn't listened to the song listen to it. Where have the good people gone? [my thoughts at first] and then as one last stitch effort to find the good within I began to watch the heroic instances of the teachers and first responders and parents involved. And then I prayed again. I prayed for all of them. And I prayed for myself and my family, I prayed I would be able to see some good in mankind and find a way to enter a classroom on Monday and not feel worried or at least appear worried. I prayed for help. And guess what? Once again GOD IS. I was out of town on Saturday when my oldest son called frantically upset that he lost his wallet. A wallet holding his social security card and his entire savings. He closed the account. I assured him we would take care of it. I admit I was upset [ ok, how the curse did he loose that wallet. How could he be so irresponsible? my internal thoughts]. And then a few hours later he called me back. This time I could hear the happiness, "mom the police called and a man walking his dog found my wallet and returned it to the police. I picked it up and everything is in it". Here it was, God is. My answer. The good people are right here. The good people are everywhere, however, we don't always see the good people. To me this man should have been on the news, praised for his honesty, praised for his kindness, praised for his moral sense of right and wrong. However, I don't even know who this man is. Making it even more important, he returned the wallet because it was the right thing to do. [Amen.]
My opinion on gun control, my opinion on mental illness, my opinion on the shooter, my opinion on school safety, my opinion on religion in schools...won't be stated here. What I can say is this, we all agree we need some kind of change. We all agree this change needs to be immediate. HOW??? is the question. I wish I knew the answer. If I did I would be a miracle worker instead of just a social worker...[lol] My way of making change is going to be in my home and with the people I encounter everyday. What if we all just start in our homes? Let's just start with working on showing our families how to do the right thing because it's the right thing. If we find money, return it. Hold a door open while walking into a store/restaurant/place of business for the person behind you, if someone drops something bend down and help pick it up, say "please" and "thank you", acknowledge good things others do even just by saying "good job" and "thank you".
Do the right thing because it's the right thing to do. I know it won't change the world and free us from all the terrible things in life but just maybe it will make a difference even on a small level. We all have the potential to be "good people" and sometimes we just might need a little help seeing it. Help everyone see it. Live up to your potential.