We all are still wrapping our heads around the Newtown, CT tragedy. I can be a pretty emotional person so I had to stop watching footage and stories or I’d be crying all the time as so many things were bringing me to tears. However, after seeing so many different reactions, I wanted to probe deeper into the spirit of who we are as a nation, a people, a society.
The day of the incident, conversations with peers, Facebook statuses, my Twitter timeline, and more included a variety of sentiments.
Some expressed moving out of this country.
Some expressed a need for gun control.
Some expressed anger at how someone can go around and kill children.
Some expressed a desire for a discussion on violence and the culture of violence in the U.S.
We can change laws; we can move away, we can get angry, we can talk, but I began to wonder how do we truly get to the source of what we, this world needs; how to get to the heart of the matter and how God can use me to do so. I often hear, “they need to” or even “we need to”, which usually translates to politicians, people that it is believed are directly impacted or can have an impact, or simply put someone else. I’m a big advocate for being the change we want to see and how each and every single one of us can take accountability for each and everything that occurs in our society be it something we do or something we don’t do.
I think because we are so accustomed to having past leaders, like Gandhi, Muhammad, Dr. King, and looking to someone else to lead a change, when in all actuality if every individual person did something or devoted their life to something that brings change to our way of life, we can collectively have a greater impact.
We, and I do mean myself as well, get so caught up in our own little world, that we don’t do the things that can begin to make even small changes in our community, neighborhood, city, state, etc…that ultimately begin to transform the whole world.
I say all this to say, if each of us took responsibility for what happened not just in Newtown, but also all the street and gang violence, the war affected countries, and various other things that we may hear and read about that we don’t like, feel is unacceptable, and think should change, then we begin to ask ourselves, what can and do I need to do to change this? What (no matter how small) is something I can contribute to, work towards, and have a commitment to DOING that can positively impact these issues?
Now of course there are so many different causes and issues in this world from health care to education, from violence to environment. But for every problem, there are at least a million people on this planet that if they each did something towards these issues each day, each week, or even a couple of times a month/year, we’d likely begin to see change take place.
So, I’m going to start with this issue of violence. Feel free to reflect on your own things that you are passionate about, but for the sake of this post which specifically speaks to violence, I have one question that is not intended to be a rhetorical one.
What is at least one thing that you feel you can do to create positive change in the violence that is occurring in the world?