In the wake of yesterday’s tragedy, we are all rendered mute—and immobilized, if you’re like me. I heard from many of my family, friends and acquaintances who were shocked and leveled by what happened in Newton. I myself had to go to bed with a stomach and head ache I couldn’t tolerate any longer and sleep for hours. The horror of yesterday will stay with us for a long time. Will anything help society, other than what will now be a heated debate about guns? Will anything help the parents, the siblings, the survivors of the event? Yes, I do believe in prayer, and I think prayer is appropriate today. But I’ve always been a woman of action and I have a suggestion that I posted on my Facebook page this morning. Here it is:
This is the only thing I can think of that will make the world a better place today, tomorrow and in the short term. It won’t help those people above, at least not directly, but it WILL, I promise you, create a better world, at least for a little while. How to implement this message? Make a special holiday gift for someone instead of buying a tie or a game. As I said in my post, one Christmas my daughter gathered 52 slips of paper, wrote about special times she’d had with us each, then put them in a mason jar and gave them to each of us, to open every Monday throughout the year. What a delight that was!
Have you been thinking about forgoing the soup kitchen, or the shelter, or the food bank that needs help and donations because you’re too busy right now? (I have.) Don’t do it. Go to those places and give the people there a bit of happiness.
Do you have family members or colleagues whom you don’t particularly like that you’re planning to ignore this holiday season? I suggest you reach out to them in a positive way: bring cookies, invite them for coffee or even just send a card.
Bite your tongue when you want to snap at someone because you’ve got so much to do. Remember that we learned yesterday that we aren’t always going to have those we love around us.
Do something special for your immediate family or close circle of friends. Yesterday, when I had to go to bed, my son cleaned up the whole house that I left a mess after having a preplanned holiday get together. In the midst of such darkness, that action shed a tiny ray of light and hope on my heart.
Are these things too little to make any difference in the world? Of course not. Perhaps, in a time of political posturing, inept congressional movement and a society that doesn’t seem to care unless a tragedy unfolds, these are the ONLY things we can do to make our world a better place.
I invite comments from anyone who has other suggestions in line with the above.