As I was cooking dinner yesterday, I turned on the news to listen to in the background and first heard about the horrible events in Nice, France. I am stunned by the hate someone can have, enough to move them to commit horrible acts against their fellow brothers and sisters. Against someone that could be me, you, or our sweet little children.
I heard of parents on balconies having to shield their kids’ eyes to keep them from seeing the massacre below them. I also saw videos of fathers running away from the chaos while carrying their babies, and it reminded me of one of the first tragedies that really made me lose it, the massacre in Sandy Hook elementary school. It all makes me scared for my little boy. It makes me scared for my other future kids. It makes me scared that this can happen when you least expect it. It makes me scared that the ones who perish the most are good people. And it makes me scared that it chips away at my belief that people are inherently good.
And it mostly makes me sad. And angry. Angry that I’m powerless to shield my family from this hate.
Much has been suggested and written about to stop these cruel acts. From wars and gun control, to discriminatory legislation. I don’t know what works, but I do know the latter creates more hate we can’t afford.
Unfortunately I don’t have a solution. I don’t know what could have stopped the attacks in Paris, Brussels, Orlando, San Bernardino, Dallas, Nice and the countless others (in Beirut, Nigeria, Bangladesh, etc) that the media doesn’t cover for one (often political) reason or another.
And thus, as a privileged mother, in a privileged country, and with not direct impact on my loved ones from these hateful acts other than an almost-canceled trip to Paris less than a month after the attacks there last year (to be read sarcastically), I fully acknowledge my voice is not the loudest one saying enough is enough.
So no, I don’t have a solution. But I do know that as a mom I can teach my kiddos to love others regardless of their physical attributes, abilities, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, race…. Regardless of any differences or similarities. It’s one small thing I can do to increase the love that our society so clearly needs.
And despite the outliers, I have to keep believing that humanity is inherently good. I see their good acts daily in my family, friends, and strangers. Remember that. We DO see more kindness than evil. It may not get media coverage, but if you look closely the acts of kindness are there.
My little boy kept giving me kisses on my arm and legs last night as if he was kissing an owie, it’s as if he instinctively knew mama was sad. But I’m also happy that I’m the one that can teach him to see the good in others. It takes skill, and I’m still working on it myself, but hopefully if I teach him from when he is tiny it’ll become second nature to him.