Last night, like many other Americans, I sat glued to my TV watching the news related to the San Bernardino mass shooting, somewhat stunned and somewhat curious about what had truly happened. I realized that actions like this are difficult to explain. I also realized that America and the security we always assumed was available to us, is in the middle of a transformation to a seemingly less secure time. Each day, the news brings us negative and all too often, extreme incidents related to race, religion and politics. Unfortunately, we Americans continue to struggle to find solutions that make sense.
As I drove to work this morning, I listened to a woman who called into a radio station explain how she had to tell her 14-year-old what to do if someone started shooting while they were at a movie theatre. I must admit, when one of my daughters left for college, I also had this conversation with all of my daughters. I never imagined that I would have to tell my children, if someone starts shooting at the mall, at the movies, at school, this is what I want you to do.
As an educator, my experience is that we always try to always find the good in everything we do. While we do spend time learning how to react in school if there is an intruder, a shooter or a violent incident, I also believe that we spend more of our time working to help our students to understand that the world is a good place.
This morning I still have trouble understanding how another human being can be so savage, so cold. My mind continues to wander back to the idea that we must continue to work together to teach good things and to help our kids to understand that good brings more good. I suppose it must be harder for our children to make sense and to understand incidents like San Bernardino or even Sandy Hook. I also have to reconcile the fact that I am not sure how to help them to feel safe and to understand that our future will still be safe and our country will still be great. In my mind, I hope that maybe, just maybe, we are making it harder than it needs to be?
As I interacted with people this morning I tried to be positive, to say hello and to hold open a door with a smile. Maybe it is the simple nature of being human and being nice that will help us to continue to look positively towards our future. Maybe that is the simple lesson that we must continue to stress with our children as they grow and develop into adults. Maybe if we each commit to building and developing positive relations within our own circles we will continue to support and grow positive change. Maybe it is that simple. BE NICE, BE HUMAN.