How many times must we speak out for those who’ve been wrongly silenced?
Somewhere along the way we went horribly wrong. We stopped relying on one another for strength, support, and safety. Once reliant on our fellow human beings to stay alive, our earliest history of banding together for protection against the raw, untamed world around us has been replaced with haunting and despicable displays of hatred, and malice, toward our once would-be protectors. Now, we prey upon each other like hungry vultures. We’ve forgotten what’s most important…
Or rather, who.
Once again today, I find myself aghast at a society and world I can no longer comprehend. All I can ask myself, once again today, is when did we so utterly and completely fail ourselves only to turn around afterward and look the other way? The tears haven’t yet breached the dam of my resilience, but right now I’m too angry. Too defeated. Too battered and bruised by the horrifying act of cowardice I came home to once again, today.
We’ve forgotten about our children, and now 18 of them — plus 3 adults — have had their voices silenced, and their dreams broken. Beautiful lives cut agonizingly short through an act of pure brutality that never should’ve happened once again, today. The unthinkable, and inconceivable, made manifest in a stark reality of the brokenness we’ve allowed to fester. An elementary school in Texas has had a terrible mass shooting, and these 21 lives were wrongly taken away, leaving equal amounts of suffering and questions left in their wake. But the obvious questions — namely why does this keep happening — are sadly not the most important ones we should ask ourselves.
What was their favourite music, cartoon, book, movie, and place in the world? What did they want to do when they grow up? What made them smile, or cry, or feel content and at peace? What were their hopes, their goals, and their dreams?
Broken dreams, shattered like delicate glass before even having the chance to shine and share their stories with the world. Replaced with the nightmare of a society that has truly lost its way, having failed to protect these innocent, beautiful children that deserved nothing less than to feel, and be, safe at school. They’ll never get to laugh, to play, to learn, or to love, ever again. A teacher will never get to share their wisdom and passion with students, and help them fulfill those dreams. And once again I fear, today, thoughts and prayers will flow and then quickly become empty and meaningless without action, or change.
You should be.
More importantly though, be there with your children tonight. Don’t worry about texts, emails, or housework, and spend it with them. Hold them close, hug them tight, watch them laugh and smile, and maybe even let them play hooky from bedtime and stay up a bit later with you. Talk to them about what they learned at school today, or what they did with their friends, or what they’d like to do this weekend. And if they want to tell you about their dreams, look them in the eyes and listen.
There were already too many broken dreams today.