There are no words that can convey the depth of horror and grief sweeping the world as a result of the shooting in Connecticut. Thinking about what the families of those involved must be going through, and will continue to endure, is so overwhelming that many, myself included, find themselves halting their thoughts. It's too painful to even imagine, we cannot comprehend how it must feel to endure. We don't have the words to express the depth of feeling, and sending thoughts and love just feels so inadequate.
Seeing some of the shock that is reverberating around the internet, there is much anger and talk about gun control. That's a discussion that needs to happen, I have no doubt about it, but I find myself too emotional to think about it calmly, and today my focus is on the grief. We can't solve anything or be productive while reeling with horror. This article from The Onion seems to sum it up, titled: "Fuck Everything, Nation Reports". It contains more truth than any real news outlet I've seen yet today. http://www.theonion.com/articles/fuck-everything-nation-reports,30743/?ref=auto
It's natural to ask how this could happen, what can we do to help, in any small way, and also to feel so overwhelmed that nothing seems possible except sadness and a sense of despair. Despair seems the only option,but despair is the most hopeless feeling possible, and the only way I can fight it is to focus on the things we can do. All the psychological theories I know don't give me even the faintest glimmer of the perpetrators motivation, It's beyond my understanding, and I almost hope that I never know.
To counter the effects of despair, and as a small step towards action, I'm breaking my own rule and actually asking people to donate to a specific cause. I don't generally do that, there are so many appeals out there and they are all such valid causes, that it can become a huge source of guilt that we can't each support all of them. I believe that people should choose the causes they feel passionate about and do what they can, and I have no right or desire to push my own charities as more worthy than another. I'm breaking this rule because in the face of such tragedy, doing something is an option. The link below is to a Huffington Post article that links to local organisations in Newtown.
The "fuck it, the world is broken beyond repair" response as described in The Onion feels true, but it isn't. There are people suffering right now, and local organisations are pouring resources into offering counselling and therapy. We can't fix the world in one leap, and individually we can feel that our own actions are so small as to be meaningless. This quote from Margaret Mead needs to be placed prominently in every public space, and held in mind whenever we feel powerless to help or cause real change:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."