I haven’t posted on this page in some
time because I have two small children who demand much supervision and care, but this is a rare moment of peace and I wanted
to give the voice in my head a chance to speak out to someone besides me.
Everyone is scrambling to put reason to the
horror in Connecticut and in the process are blaming everything from gun control
to taking prayer out of the schools. And while it is true that many things probably contributed to the murder of so many innocent
people, we have to remember that some things, like mental illness and pure evil, are beyond our control.
There are some things we can control, however,
and that is what my voice keeps whispering to me. Children are born with a propensity to lie and steal and hit. Watch young
kids play and you learn that. But since we are social beings who tend to live together, those concepts don’t work. A
child’s life as a whole is a blank page. We can write on that clean sheet the principles of non-aggression and fairness,
charity and self-esteem, or we can write our own failures and fears onto that page. We may even choose not to write at all,
but that is the worst kind of legacy. The things we write may be indelible.
And if we write our own lives onto their pages,
we must expect them to repeat our failures. That is why we parents, or anyone who has contact with a child, must work a little
harder to write things that will uplift. That doesn’t mean we don’t correct or discipline. It means that we temper
those things with love and acceptance. Otherwise, our children will take their own propensities and multiply them by their
parents’ dysfunction and start a downward trend that reflects in society as murders and thefts and addictions and a
myriad of other ills our culture may not survive.
The thing is, for the parents of those precious
teachers and their teachers who were victims last week, the world has stopped for a while. For the rest of us, it goes on.
We will dry our tears and we will go back to the lives we are used to. We cannot
eradicate things like what happened in Connecticut; unfortunately those things will happen again and again. We can’t
control everything in a person’s life that might cause them to perpetrate violence against others. But we can control
what we write on our own children’s lives as they eat at our tables and play in our homes.
That is all the voice in my head has to say.
It is silent now. And to that, I would like to shout, “Merry Christmas and peace on earth to men of good will.