Everyone is searching for answers as we watch our world and our country terrorized and traumatized in one city after another. Debates over gun control, over health care, over the availability (or lack thereof) of mental health care, the dissolution of the family, the isolated individuals we are raising who are more hooked in to their electronic phones and tablets than they are to people, the overwhelming violence in entertainment media…we have all obsessed and discussed these problems within our families and out for dinner with our friends…and the tragedies and traumas continue.
It was inevitable that despite our egocentric illusion of protective indemnification from violence, that the United States would one day become vulnerable; just like the rest of the world has been subject for far too many years. Shooting sprees, bombings, explosions, attacks on people and historic places can no longer be kept off of our shores.
We have more responsibility now than ever before to do what each one of us is able to do to reduce the tragedies and traumas we are all experiencing on a daily basis.
We must start at home – in our own homes!!
We teach our children right from wrong and we must be present to parent them in real time.
We must teach our children to communicate ‘person-to-person’ not ‘person-to-device.’
We must underline and emphasize the critical importance of tolerance and compassion and compromise.
We must limit the violence they are exposed to in the media.
We, as parents, must take back the power in our homes that we have handed over to our children because it was easier to do that than to stay firm and maintain our values and our rules.
We must participate in our communities to help them become (or remain) safer; not rely on acquiring arsenals of weapons to protect us.
We must not allow hateful, divisive rhetoric represent our country or its leadership; as the style of leadership always trickles down and impacts the way we live our lives in our own homes and communities.
There is no quick fix. We must commit to doing what is right, teaching what is right, and participating in what is right. We cannot continue to remain so self-absorbed that the world goes on self-destructing while we stand by in horror as helpless victims asking why.
We must be present. We have to be responsible to teach our children to value goodness and to participate. We must use every opportunity to teach others to be tolerant and compassionate. We start at home.