To lose a child … was something that could end one’s world. One could never get back to how it was before. The stars went out. The moon disappeared. The birds became silent. ~ Alexander McCall Smith
The incident at Chardon High School, Ohio has shaken the nation once again. My profound condolences and prayers for the families and friends of those three boys who lost their lives and the rest who are still in the hospital struggling. I don’t know any of these kids and their families, but I couldn’t stop my tears trickling down when I saw the news on TV. A knot in my throat throttled my breath when I read the news periodically. I couldn’t concede that it’s another bad news out of a deluge of bad news we listen to and read every other moment.
I’m struck with enormous grief losing the sense of my daily routine. Abandoning my “ tasks for the day list”, I just sat back and let the tears flow down my cheeks. Why am I feeling so attached with this incident?
No. Probably not just this incident. There are some other deep reasons that are pushing to connect myself with these victims and their family. Yes. I felt as though I lost somebody from my own family. Now I know why I’m feeling so. I’m a mother, too. Someone’s sister. I have close friends who are part of my life. I wouldn’t want my parents to endure this kind of pain. I’m, in my subconscious mind, placing myself in those relationships with these kids and their families. Sitting in California I can imagine how these Ohioan families could be going through this gruesome phase. What if I’m in their place one day?
I send my child to school every day and long to see her back home safely. Don’t all other parents feel the same – of course they do. I love to see my daughter’s happy face when she takes a carousel ride in the mall. Will I be able to see that happy face forever without any fear? Will schools, malls, playgrounds, parks, and play dates be considered safe places for our kids to enjoy their childhood?
Do we, as parents and custodians of the society, have strength and courage to empower our society to help our kids grow healthy, happy, educated, and good citizens? May be we can – if we all try together and put our best foot forward in playing our respective roles. After all school and mall shootings are not natural calamities which are under the control of supernatural powers.
Don’t we have resources to show the right direction to our kids? We don’t have to reinvent the wheel or research for a new technology. Adults, as a parent, teacher, mentor, employer, social worker, we are the role models for the children. If this role model mechanism fails, our society will collapse. The inventions, industrial development, winning wars, and wealth creation are the structures standing on the foundation of human capital that is our children who are our future. When the foundation is deficient, lacks essence of life, the materialist structures will be standing on emptiness and will implode without any notice.
At this point who, why, what, when, and how these things are happening and who is responsible for these children’s confusingly destructive future is immaterial. It’s absolutely not a time for a blame game. God forbid, we all may have to undergo this kind of a situation. All adults have a collective role in straightening our society and guiding the children in the right direction. We adults bring the children into this world and we have a duty to show them the right path. Empower them with the tools to battle the hidden demons.
Only we have the ability, resources, and strength to prevent from another Columbine, Virginia Tech, and now Chardon happening in the future. We merely need a mindset and courage to undertake this mission for our children to lead a fearlessly peaceful lives.
Children are the keys of paradise ~ Eric Hoffer