Our community lost a dedicated teacher, friend and selfless veteran. We are left with two students wounded and a child gone for reasons not yet uncovered. In the past, before beginning my journey of transformation, I would have focused on anger and blame.
I would have focused heated thoughts on where he got the gun, his parents, and why God did not prevent the unspeakable. Through gritted teeth, I would have questioned how the students treated him and if school personnel were aware.
With sadness and grief I said a prayer for the victims and their families, asking how not to put my attention on anger and blame. The voice inside my head whispered the questions, “What pain was the child so focused on that he chose to bring a weapon to school to take another life as well as his own? Are we going to outlaw guns, kitchen knives, fire, video games, and the Internet where anyone can learn to build a bomb?” In ancient days, without modern weapons, Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. (Gen. 4:8 KJV) Pain will find a way.
My website is dedicated to the business of transforming life to find peace and joy; how could that philosophy serve in this horrible situation without sounding trite? Putting my emotions in God’s hands, the Mohandas Gandhi quote came to mind, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” Social and personal transformations go hand in hand. I cannot control other people or situations. I can only control my own reactions and myself.
My prayer redirected to one requesting assistance, to be aware of my thoughts, actions and words this day and every day. Help me to focus on kindness. Help me in any situation to release the need to be angry, mean, cutting, competitive or critical. Let me not be the one that pricks a fellow human with the words or actions that send them over the edge.
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