Life After Newtown

There are no words to describe the tragedy of the Newtown school shooting.  Twenty six lives were lost, twenty of those lives being young children.  It's difficult to imagine anyone moving forward after such catastrophe, much less the family of the victims whose sorrow must be deeper than anyone outside of their circumstance could ever comprehend.

But time can be cruel.  Regardless of misfortune, or violence, or pain, life does move forward.  What becomes important now is how each of us will move forward.  How will the families of the victims cope with a life suddenly taken?  How will the students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School cope with the fortune of being blessed with an opportunity to continue their own life? How will each individual that has heard about the massacre on the news or over the radio, or have read reports online or in newspapers, how will each of us that has been touched by the gunning down of these children and staff continue our own lives?

We have already started pointing fingers-parents, the school, video games, guns.  We have already mourned collectively- flags at half mast, moments of silence, schools wearing arm bands in recognition of their fallen comrades.  All of these actions are usual motifs of how society deals with extreme violence or unexpected tragedy.  And just as dutifully as we have all taken action to show that these lost souls have touched our lives is just as quickly as we will put these moments to the back of our memory and return to our own lives.

What has changed? What will change? How can we claim to be truly touched by the fatal assaults at Sandy Hook and not be changed ourselves?  It's a week to the day of the tragedy; how long before news stations stop broadcasting the story, before parents have to stop explaining to their five year old sons and daughters the meaning of the word massacre? How long before Newtown, Connecticut is forgotten and the cruelty of time forces us to relinquish the sorrow we have all felt and retreat back to dealing with our own problems?

Everyone has an opinion on what needs to happen next, what gun laws need to be reformed, what security measures need to be taken, what parents should be teaching their children.  But unless we are collectively willing to change our way of thinking, change our way of interacting, change our way of respecting, then we are merely on a countdown to the next Newtown tragedy.  Furthermore, there are "Sandy Hook's" that are occurring every second of every day all throughout the world, minus the flags at half mast and the moments of silence.  There are no laws that can change those tragedies, only a unified and genuine intent by the community of humanity to sincerely change our mindset can guide us on a universal path to peace.