Be Kind and Purposeful in the Wake of Tragedy
I’ve pondered the senseless acts of violence over the weekend bred by intolerance and hatred. Some have characterized such tragedies of mass shootings in our country as the new norm. We cannot allow ourselves to see these acts as normal because they are certainly not. We cannot become desensitized to brutal and violent actions that affect so many Americans. We lost lives and the lives of countless others were changed forever. Innocent children. Mothers and fathers. Daughters and sons. Grandmothers and grandfathers. Aunts and uncles. Cousins and friends. Each person killed or injured has a name, a story, and a significance.
Let us extend our deepest condolences for the victims, families, and communities of El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy. Let us also extend kindness and support to each other knowing that acts of senseless violence stresses and traumatizes us all. As adults, we are navigating the complexities of our world and its increasingly divisive politics, but most of us are ill-equipped to do so. And then there is our children, who rely on us to help them make sense of and navigate this world. May we do so in a way that help the young people in our lives and in our sphere of influence grow to be defenders of decency and lead with love and respect for their fellow man.
The bitter truth of this weekend is that while we are not ourselves direct victims of these tragedies, we could have been. What significant difference is there between Detroit and Dayton other than 220 miles? It is our choice to whether we will be victims of different types of tragedy—indifference and ignorance.
As a community of change agents, we must act with faith, wisdom, strength, and impact. Let us offer heartfelt, earnest comfort and healing for the families of the slain. Let us invoke wisdom and strength to bear the weight of these tragedies. Let us commit to tolerance, civility, and love as we challenge, debate, and seek change. Lastly, let us urge action and answers from those elected to protect us, our communities, and our neighbors from gun violence.
Artwork: “Morning Hike” by Morgan Taylor, Henry Ford Academy Detroit