Somehow it just doesn't feel right blogging about stuff right now at least not for me. As I have sped around the blogosphere these last few days I have read many thoughtful and insightful posts commenting on the
horrific shooting in Newton, Connecticut a town I had never heard of a few days ago. But I do live in Oregon and have shopped many times at the Clackamas mall in Portland which also sadly hit the news just a few days prior to Newton. One of the joys of blogging is an opportunity to express our views in a forum that includes people from all over the world as well as to our friends and family who live close by. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this recent tragedy and what it means to me personally as well as to our nation as a whole. So much has already been said and said well. What if anything can I add to the conversation?? Well there are a few things that come to mind.
I have had the opportunity to live in other countries, both Mexico and Australia. I learned a lot from those experiences. In Mexico I learned how strong and pervasive the bonds of family could be. It was breathtaking and permeated the culture in ways I had never experienced. A mother or father of a child with Autism or Asperger's syndrome would not be alone in dealing with this challenge. A shy, introverted child would be shielded from excruciating isolation and loneliness , surrounded by family and extended family after extended family. Despite the drug violence which demands another conversation I cannot imagine a young man in Mexico walking into an elementary school and killing the children. I do not believe this would happen in this
In Australia we learned different things. A more egalitarian country there was very little discrepancy between the rich and the poor. We lived in Queensland where the relationship to the outdoors was strong. Every Sunday the kids went to the beach to participate in a program called "Nippers" to teach kids how to be safe and how to play in the ocean. There is a fierce relationship with the ocean that surrounds this country. The kids learned young to respect and relish it. I noticed how often they were outside.
So yes it goes without saying that we need to get common sense gun laws in this country. Absolutely. But we have to go deeper. We have to work on our family bonds, our sense of community. We also have to get kids out of their bedrooms, off their computers and gaming machines and back outside where wonderful healthy activities need to be front and center.
We need to take a collective deep breath and then get to work.