I woke up yesterday to a message on my phone from CNN: someone went on a stabbing spree in a high school near Pittsburgh. My heart dropped. Not again.
As details emerged, I was heartbroken at the number of people hurt. Twenty one children and adults. Hurt, not killed. Thank the Goddess for small miracles. But they aren't out of danger yet. There is healing to be done, both physically and mentally. And probably spiritually. A whole community is in disarray. But one question lingers. Why?
We see this happening around the country. A kid, barely more than a child, has something go very wrong in his life. Maybe he is sent to the principal's office and that means a beating at home, or maybe it means no more xbox. Who knows. But something goes wrong. He is picked on, bullied until he cracks. He doesn't feel accepted. His girlfriend breaks up with him. It's happening more and more. And then there's that question. Why?
What has changed in society that is causing both kids and adults to think their only way to get rid of the pain is to hurt others? Why are we seeing this so much more than we did even 20 years ago?
We have. We changed. We are online, keyed in, always connected. But not to each other. We don't have dinner with our kids and sit down to talk about our days. We don't support each other anymore, talking through the bad moments, boosting self confidence and showing compassion. We don't stop to help strangers, check on our neighbors, and say a friendly "hello" when we pass on the streets.
We ignore, turn away, and find ways to plug in so we don't connect to each other. We have no compassion for someone else in danger. We don't love anyone but the person in our bed, sometimes, and the dead presidents in our wallets.
And until we reach out to someone, let them know that someone cares, that they don't have to do anything rash, these horrible acts of senseless violence will continue. We will continue to raise our children with no compassion. They won't know how to make friends, how to care about someone else, and how to say, "Hey man, are you ok? Let's talk about it."
Take a moment today to reach out to someone that had a bad day. Maybe someone you know is hurting or hasn't had a hug in a while. Find your compassion and we find a solution.