In the wake of the tragic events in Connecticut, I’ve been sharing these lyrics and song by David Wilcox. I wanted to also make sure it reaches those of you who read this blog because I believe his message is so important to life and leadership.
While tragedies such as this tend to stop us in our tracks for just a little while, and as David Wilcox puts it “wake us from our daydram and put fear back in our life”, we must both grieve and find our way back to hope.
I’ve been intentionally staying away from the mainstream media for many reasons including that I do not need any more rehashing to be present to the horror and sadness. Instead, to stay connected to my community near and far at this time, I continue to engage vis social media channels. As I have been reading the many posts and writing to process my own thoughts I have been thinking about this question:
How can we find our way back to hope so we can heal and move forward?
In an attempt to make sense of this senseless violence and deal with the myriad of intense emotions it triggers, I see people coping in many ways, most especially sharing their condolences, shock and sadness, as well as expressing gratitude for the simple blessings this event reminds us to not take for granted.
Some are trying to find “the” root cause, which for some means who or what to blame. There are also a lot of judgements flying around about how people are vs. how they should deal with this tragedy, especially on social media. These are very natural reactions and I have learned from the many points of view being offered. Blame and judgment, however, are not likely help us find our way forward as there are no simple answers here.
There are 3 simple things I see that we can each do to lead the way to finding our way back to hope…
1. Allow each other the space to process and grieve, however we do that, without judgement.
Some will go dark on social media channels or post only things relevant to the tragedy for a time. Some will hold a public vigil or organize support for the victims and their families and others will retreat in silent prayer. Some will focus on what they believe to be the root cause and use this as an opportunity to fan the flame of their beliefs or causes, while others will focus on ensuring justice is served. Some will go on with life as usual, or at least it may seem that way from the outside looking in.
There are countless ways to process this. If we can watch and listen to all of it and keep our focus on compassion and learning something rather than judging others for their way of dealing with this as “right” or “wrong”, perhaps we can actually learn something that can truly help us deal with the underlying issues that lead to a tragedy of this magnitude.
2. Choose to make a difference where you are now no matter how small it may seem.
Getting into action, even simple actions like sending a letter of condolence to the survivors or hugging the children in your life and letting them know they are loved and safe, makes a difference for both the giver and the receiver. And taking some meaningful action is a great way to overcome that feeling of helplessness that can be so overwhelming.
3. Ask yourself: what would love do?
Do that, whatever “that” might be, where you live and work. It all matters. The shots fired and lives taken may have woken us up, but we have a choice about what we do now and whether we simply go back to sleep until the next tragedy occurs.
What do you think we can all do to find our way back to hope?
Here’s a video of David Wilcox performing Show the Way. May his beautiful words bring you hope and provide some solace at this difficult time.