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Today I am trying to hold on to the idea of promoting peace. I am reminding myself that none of us is guaranteed more than the breath we are taking right now, so we need to live with gratitude for it. This is an idea I can grasp for myself much more easily than I can grasp for my children, for whom I want desperately to guarantee a bright future. The opposite prospect leaves me scared and angry. So my goal is to try to focus on peace rather than anger, because my focus, words and actions from this point forward are all I really have control over anyway.

We need to believe that as the human race we are all connected and part of something larger than ourselves – the vocabulary we choose to describe this phenomenon is not important – you can call it God, The Universe, Science, Truth – whatever you want to call it. Regardless of Its name, every movement, every practice, every lesson we teach our kids, every one of our actions and words has to be colored with love and compassion towards others, even when others seem undeserving, because otherwise, the cycle of anger and pain and loss continues. Even if we don’t see the seeds of peace we have planted bloom in this lifetime, we must keep planting them – we are all important parts of something big, and the seeds will bloom.

Practicing compassion, love and understanding does not negate the rule of law, nor does it preclude the need to create and enforce laws to attempt to ensure a greater peace. But the intention of our laws should not be created for the purpose of vengeance or self-righteousness.

I am hugging my kids a lot tighter today, but I have to remember to feel like that every other day, too. My heart breaks for all of us, because we are all feeling the loss of this horrific tragedy, but of course, I cry most of all for the families who have lost loved ones.

P.S. (1/3/2013)
A few weeks have passed since the horrible tragedy that occurred in Newtown on 12/14, but the survivors will be needing support for the foreseeable future.  One of the issues on the table as a result of this tragedy is mental health. If you want to do something to improve the availability of mental health services, here is a small thing each of us can do right away to this end. My thought is that rather than talk about how “something needs to be done” and then argue about what that “something” should be, we should each pick up a piece of the rubble and get to work.

There will be a need for ongoing mental health services to help the community of Newtown through the long grieving/healing process ahead. You can send donations directly to Newtown Youth & Family Services marked “Agency Use Only.”

Newtown Youth & Family Services
15 Berkshire Road
Sandy Hook, CT 06482
Phone: (203) 270 – 4335 or (203) 426 – 8103
Fax: (203) 270 – 4338
Contact: Ashley Mele or Candice Bohr

You can also donate online here.