Monday, December 17, 2012

Pay It Forward

I've been overwhelmingly fascinated with the Newtown tragedy.  I have been interested to learn about what happened.  How it happened.  Who was there.  Who wasn't there.  Why it happened.  I want to read about every person who is now gone.  Even if they lived a very short life, I want to know about it.  I want to hear what their parent's have to say, what their children think and what their brother or sister will miss.  And, in doing so, I will take a moment to honor them.  Even when I can't finish the article because I feel sickened with sadness, I will honor them.  I want to hear the stories of selflessness of the teachers and administrators. I want to know that the first responders have the support they need to work through what they saw.  I want the world to offer prayer, empathy and support for everyone touched by this event.

I am amazed at the outpouring of support immediately shown from people around the world.  An athlete who acknowledged his biggest fan.  A man who took his dog to offer up hugs to anyone who needed one.  A woman who donated to a local charity just because she wanted to do something to support children.  The newspaper that left out haunting images and simply and graciously listed the names of the victims on the front page.  A flash sale site that changed their daily email sale announcement to instead honor those who have been lost and provided a link so that you could donate to the United Way of Western Connecticut.  The countless people who are posting on facebook in support of all those who were lost. The sports teams that offered a moment of silence in honor before their games.  The President who shared heartfelt remarks.  The religious leaders who come together to pray for all people.  The person who hugs a child just a little tighter before sending them off to school or practice. And, I commend the woman who wrote the article about navigating through life with a son who seems to possess one too many similarities to many of the young men who have recently committed unfortunately comparable and disgusting acts of violence just so that we may better understand.

While many of these acts are simple in their nature, together they represent a community of people all over the United States and the World who are thinking of and praying for Sandy Hook and its' village of people mourning their unbelievable loss. Some of these acts are grand and others simple.  All heartfelt. 

We all can do this.  And, it doesn't have to be a an extravagant gesture.  But, take a moment, and find the good in the world and in your heart.  Once you find it, share a little bit of it with a person around you.  My kind actions may not reach the people of Newtown directly but if everyone one of us pays it forward eventually it will get there.  And, the warmth and love we feel for them now will be magnified tremendously.  And, that same love and kindness will benefit everyone around us as well.

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