I do not have the answers to all questions.
I don’t even think I know what the right questions are to even ask.
But I do know that where there is light, darkness can not exist.
So that is one thing that I will make sure I teach my children.
If nothing else, look for a small light, or better yet, be a small light. And you will not be surrounded by darkness.
On Friday, like the rest of the world, Rob and I were stunned by the news of the shooting and loss of innocent in Connecticut.
Children. Innocent children.
The families. The parents. The siblings. The survivors. How will they get through this dark time?
When we discussed what happened with our children, this was the main thought.
We also talked about the “Why”. “Why did this happen?”
I don’t think there is an easy answer to why. But there is a complex answer to why.
It starts in the home. Then it continues into the community. Then it forces it’s way into the government and politics and media.
Many will say it starts with a vindictive God. But I personally believe that God is weeping at the tragedy and loss just as much as we are. He didn’t create it. We did.
There are many questions and answers as to “why” circulating out there in the media: Is it a gun control problem? Is it a mental health issue? Is it misuse of free agency? Is it the consequences of a dysfunctional family? Is it the consequences of inadequate parenting? Is it inadequate protection at school? Is it insufficient education? Is it sensationalism from the media? Is it glorifying and desensitizing of weapons through video games and media violence?
Maybe it’s just a little bit of everything.
But it’s funny how “the little bit of everything”can often times move us to a place of passively placing blame, instead of actively taking a role in something. In anything. Because actively taking a role in anything, will actually help change something.
So when I talked with my kids about “Why” this happened, I did not have a clear cut answer.
Except to tell them that light will always prevail over darkness.
If they are the light, they will never feel alone in the darkness.
We need to focus on the good in the world, and what we can do to contribute to the good in the world, as that is the only way we can conquer evil.
We need to do our part. We need to ensure that within the four walls of our home is a place of peace, love and learning. We need to teach about the power of light: about how one person can make a difference. And how there are consequences tied to choices. We need to educate ourselves about issues so we can make wise decisions. We need to help others, especially those who are struggling with issues we may not understand. And we need to not just turn a blind eye from things that we don’t believe in. We need to develop our faith, and need to develop our spirits. We need to find our light and then let our light shine.
Because it all starts in the home.
Everything starts in the home.
Whether it be teaching about free agency, guns, mental illness, community safety, family relations, media influences or God. The home is the front line and the place where we need to start.
As we mourn the loss of innocent lives, as we grieve with the families of all the victims, and yes, the family of the shooter too, we need to hug our children a little tighter, say I love you a bit more frequently, and make sure our homes are places of love and learning.
We need to teach them the power of their light. The power that their light can illuminate places of darkness. When things don’t make sense, when there appears to be no good anywhere, when the tunnel seems dark and endless, we do have the power to turn our lights on stronger. Because with light, darkness can not even exist.