In Response to the Connecticut School Shooting

Posted by on Dec 15, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on In Response to the Connecticut School Shooting

In Response to the Connecticut School Shooting

I’ve been reading a lot of people’s reactions to the shooting that took place yesterday in Connecticut, many of whom are calling for stricter gun laws. Of course it makes sense that fewer guns in fewer hands mean fewer gun related injuries and deaths, but to stop there is to turn our backs on the real problem. People kill people because they are mentally ill and without support. They kill people because they lack the education and opportunities to choose better lives and paths for themselves. They kill people because they are afraid, they are unloved.

Asking for stricter gun control (and stopping there) is putting the onus on someone else to do the fixing. It’s passing the solution up the ladder, hoping that someone else can do the work needed to stop tragic events like this from happening. But society isn’t made up of that decision-maker alone. Sad, disenfranchised, uneducated, mentally ill or disconnected individuals will continue to find ways to hurt others, no matter what the law says about legally owning a firearm. The community knit-work of America (and Canada, frankly) is unravelling and it’s been dropping the stitches that hold it together for some time. As long as people live in a place that is essentially a collection of individuals (and their families) rather than a community where people feel essential, a part, and connected to one another this will continue. Many people lack supportive families, the last remaining unit of belonging in North America besides the church (which is founded upon an “us” and “them”), and so where to go for support? Broken people break society, but we all hold the tools to start rebuilding.
Instead of looking in rage outward, demanding that only those in power make change, look at yourself. Does your investment in a healthy, functioning and loving society generally end with you and your family? Maybe at the yoga studio at which you teach? These are of course important contributions, but it’s not enough. When you are out in your town, your city, can you begin to see a place for yourself as a part of it rather than simply in it? Can you bring more acts of kindness and outreach into your daily existence? Can you volunteer, offer assistance, or even simply acknowledge people that others ignore? Can you, in your own small corner of the world, begin to use your love and compassion to knit people together again?

I don’t think this is a utopian dream. I don’t think it’s communist propaganda. People need to be seen again. Not for their money or for the leverage they can offer others, but just to be seen as people who need other people. And sometimes they will need much more than they are able to give. But that has to be okay too.

I’m so incredibly saddened by the loss of so many lives at that Connecticut school. I’m also saddened by the loss of those to come. The only thing we can do as people in a position of service is to give love, in whatever way we can. And of course as Gandhi said, “be the change that you want to see in the world.”

I want more love. I want more peace. I know what I’ve got to do.

All content by Lisa Veronese. Please do not publish or copy my material without my consent.