Just like everyone else, I was shocked and horrified by the events in Newtown, CT last Friday. I read as much about it as I could, spending hours trying to figure out what had happened and why, but honestly there are no real answers when something like this happens, and it’s easy to feel helpless and hopeless.
This article, I think, sums up my reaction pretty well. A tragedy like this definitely puts life in perspective, and makes you realize how lucky you are, and how many things you take for granted, because you believe they will always be there.
In the days since then, there have been plenty of debates about who was to blame, what really happened, and what needs to be done to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. It can be a bit overwhelming, all of the media and all of the opinions, and the truth is, the answer is not a simple one.
Yes, it is a sad and tragic thing that happened, but it is also true that horrible things happen everyday, all over the world, and most of the time we don’t even hear about them. Yes, there is a discussion to be had about who has access to what kind of guns, and about the treatment people are able to receive for mental illness, and hopefully we can prevent anything like this from happening again, but it doesn’t change the fact that it has happened.
I came across the 26 Random Acts of Kindness movement, and it seems like a fitting tribute, and also a positive way for people to get involved. The premise is that you do 26 random acts of kindess, one for each of the victims, and ask the person who you’ve done the kindness for to pay it forward. If enough people decide to do this, the world just might be a little bit brighter.
Especially at this time of year, which is supposed to be about friendship, love and caring for each other, but can sometimes be more about stress, expense and material things, why not take a few minutes to brighten someone else’s day?
Whether it be donating toys, baking cookies for a lonely neighbour, paying for a stranger’s coffee, or just smiling at someone on the street, you never know what someone might be going through, or how that one act of kindness could make all the difference.