Since Columbine, I’ve been painfully aware of the increasing amounts of violence being committed throughout the U.S., and for no apparent reasons (not at least any we can readily identify). This realization in 1999 was probably because I had a toddler at the time, who would some day grow up to attend a school of some kind. This event worried me. I wondered, was this isolated? Is this going to stop? Or is this the beginning of an epidemic and will we never escape or control it?
That toddler is now 18, and sadly, my questions still remain.
But, I also have a new one: How do we prevent it?
Back in the Spring of 2014, while on a week long vacation with my father, I was catching up on some reading. I read a book called Rachel’s Tears. I was so moved that I wrote a blog about it.
Easter that year happened to be on the exact day, when 15 years prior, the Columbine School Shooting was. I found it to be no coincidence.
This past month, as I reflected on so many other shootings and random acts of violence in the world, with seemingly no real end (or potential solution) in sight, I began an open dialogue about what is going on, at least what we can see; asking questions about what we can’t see and what we can do to help.
When I reviewed my emails yesterday afternoon, I found it fitting that one was pointing towards Rachel’s Challenge.
After Paris, I didn’t feel like writing about violence-I’m so sick of it.
But while reading this community event notice, I remembered, I can’t quit writing for a cause…EVER. The cause is the same one which angered me so much back in 1999, and which still puzzles and angers me now, sixteen years later.
While I will be checking into Rachel’s Challenge myself now, to see what it offers to the communities and educators and their organizations, I will continue to seek more positive things to share to help us all keep moving forward with some sort of hope for change.
We have to.