Another terrible thing has happened today. Just a little ways a way, actually - in a town we just passed through on Monday night while traveling to see friends only an hour and a half away.
My heart aches for the parents and students that were terrified, worried, and afraid.
My first thought is never, 'What is this world coming to?'
Because this is not a question that moves us forward in times of sadness or fear.
Nor is it the answer to blame the world; or others.
I see myself in the parents of the kids hurt.
I see myself in the parents of the suspect.
I see myself in the teachers and staff.
I see myself as me; someone who learns about the incident only through the soundbites and snapshots that made it through the media.
I see myself as me; someone who will look my own children in the eyes everyday and say honestly and with hope, 'yes, this is a place that is beautiful and magical and kind.'
Because I know one thing is true:
WE are the ones that make this world.
WE create the world by the choices that we make that influence, affect, or impact anyone that comes in contact with us. When in the presence of others; strangers or familiar - do we choose to react with patience at an inconvenience? Do we respond with gratitude and kindness? Do we leave people feeling refreshed, energized, and inspired?
and in today's world, that also means the contact that we have with others virtually. Do we post and like and share things that lift people up? Do we choose to ignore hate, fear-mongering, or gossip spreading? Or do we choose to ignite it?
So, the kids and I talked about bullies and standing up for others today, as we frequently do. We talk about choices and use various words for the feelings that we have. We look at characters on shows and movies and talk about aloud how we think they might be feeling and why. We talk about what makes a bully, processing feelings of embarrassment and moving forward despite difficulties, and ways we can step in as bystander for someone in trouble. Each day we attempt to actively works towards being kind, compassionate, and patient.
Because we create the world today and will again tomorrow.
If interested, I find these very insightful and helpful when reflecting in moments like this:
Testing how a small acts of kindness create ripples
Yes, You can teach compassion to your son (and yourself)
My Kid would never do that: bullying (Dateline video)
What I guess I want to say is; if we want the world to be a more beautiful, caring, and safe place, then we need to look to ourselves for the state of the world.
I am small, but even a grain of sand dropped in water will make a ripple.