Explore Nueroscience in Education with Dr. Lori Desautels

Peace and Violence

Peace and  Violence


When innocent children’s lives are cut short by the horrific act of homicide, we all feel this empathic adhesion to those who are the receivers of such violence and we feel this empathic almost frantic pull to our own loved ones. Suddenly, in one second, our priorities, worries, frustrations, anger and arguments are shoved away replaced by a blanket of grief and despair that swallows us  in unspeakable ways as we think of the parents, families and close friends intimately connected to this school shooting and tragedy…


We feel helpless, numb, saddened beyond words, and angry…and in these moments we reach for our own families and for some sort of spiritual comfort, hoping to discover meaning or just anything that could make sense inside  such trauma. Sometimes it feels cathartic to blame. Who do we blame? What good will come from pointing our fingers at any one person, family, organization, or society? Yes, our gun control laws need a change. Yes, as parents, we are called to be vigilant and aware of our children’s needs and challenges. Yes, our schools need to look at the security systems in place, but honestly, locked doors, scanners for driver licenses, stop checks, improved laws,  may not have prevented the shootings on December 14th.  I was thinking yesterday, as I watched the news unfold that this story and experience affects each one of us in intimate and vairied ways, but nonetheless, we all felt and experienced this tragedy. I feel that the solutions, the healing, the understanding of “how”  we solve such a complex societal issue will also take  every single one of us… not just law enforcement, legislation, improved mental helath services, school improvement plans and counseling centers.  As we all experienced, maybe we need to  look deeper and longer at “how” we can prevent this tragedy from happening again?  


 Through these next few weeks and months, may we pull together in our expressed and silent compassion for these children, families, teachers, administrators, and communities.  May we put aside those (what now seem to feel) small and insignificant day to day worries and focus on “how” we can create deepened connections with one another, a heart that opens and listens in the darkest of moments, reaching out to a friend, stranger, or loved one that might be hurting, scared, chronically confused, lost or restless as this holiday season and new year  approaches. I believe we are capable of changing the negative experiences in our own lives by reaching out to lessen the suffering of another. We can hold these families and children in our hearts, as we activate a compassionate presence inside our own lives that possibly, just maybe, will abruptly stop another tragedy such as this in Newtown, Connecticut.  


May we become a bit gentler and softer inside all of our relationships rather than hardened and frozen in our understanding of these losses as we question, ponder, grieve, and reach for anything that helps to clarify, give purpose or meaning inside our own lives and those around us who suffer…                



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