Empty Chairs at Empty Tables…

The nightmare in Newtown last week will forever be etched within the fabric of the country’s history. Most people will not forget, but their fever pitched emotions will cool down. The loved ones will be forever missing someone at the table but they will recover because life goes on.

Right now, right this moment is the time to begin discussing actions that can have some impact on stopping these kind of mass murders from happening. We will never be able to stop sub-human animals from destroying – but if we can stop one of them then at least we can say we saved some lives.

The world we live in has changed drastically within the past two years. Social networking, smart phones – Shakespeare said “All the worlds a stage” only when he wrote it I am sure he had in mind the audience  being the people who are around you.  Today the stages and actors have a much larger reach. Within seconds (if even that long) an opinion posted is available everywhere there is an internet connection. A picture tells a thousand words? How many different variations of words once millions have seen that one photo? Once its been downloaded and shared?

The education system in this country (in this world as well but lets stick with US) must be revised, updated and accommodated for the world of today and the tomorrows.

Education in this sense would be the power of impacting another person. The act of posting a picture of someone (or yourself) in a compromised position can not only speak volumes – but cause a change in the orbital force. Atlas Shrugging has nothing on what happens once a twitter feed is hacked.

Children must be taught from an early age about repercussions.

The bible had it right when it said – do unto others as you would want done unto yourself. The power of putting thought in front of actions, words or send buttons must be taught, re-taught and taught again – just as the multiplication tables are ingrained in our minds so should the impact of our actions on others.

My mother always tells me that emotions are like a wall – once you take a nail and hammer it in – the wall is in distress and even if you take the nail out there will always be a mark where the nail was hammered in. So to are words thrown at others – the words hurt and though forgiveness is granted – the hurt from those words never go away.

Children must be taught about the value of one life. From conception until death – the amount people touched begins with three, the parents and the child just conceived. It then extends onto the world via announcements of pregnancy.

Once the child is born each and every move is recorded – each word, each smile, each cry – becomes a living extension of the child. Touching the lives of all who come into contact – if you post videos or pictures on the internet – you can go from touching hundreds of people offline to quickly touching hundreds of thousands if not millions in an instant.

The child begins to grow and enters preschool – directly extending the reach of his words, smiles and cries. Friends are made and new worlds emerge. The child is perhaps three years old at this time and already he has touched, directly face to face, hundreds of people. He has changed the course of peoples days, lives – changed the world for better or worse. He has caused smiles, headaches and concerns. He has generated friendships, conversations and worries. This child has altered the course of the population forever.

This child has a future; a Doctor, a Writer, a Bricklayer, a Garbage man – perhaps a father who will bring in more life to a world always in need of more smiles, friendship and love.

This child must be taught the impact he can have on this world. He can make it a better world, he can hide out and have a minimal impact or he can go out and make this world a nightmare with excuses. This child deserves to grow up in a safe environment where guns and weapons have no place.

Last week 20 of these children full of words, smiles, hopes and dreams were gunned down by someone who never should have been near a gun in the first place. Someone who should have been put on a list for monitoring similar to Homeland Security watch lists.

After the fact there are always excuses of mental illness, of there being no law regarding gun control, of being brought up in an angry home, drug use or alcohol issues. These should not be considered excuses or reasons.  These should be wake up calls to act before its too late. To educate – we must educate parents, educators and community leaders to be able to recognize the warning signs before it is too late. When we point the fingers we are all to blame.

We live in a country who’s foundation has always been freedom. A country where freedom of choice, believed by many to have been given to us by our creator, has been the overwhelming strength and weakness of our society.

The strength is easy to see – you see it as people of all religions or none at all – can practice, preach or ignore the laws of their chosen text.

The weakness comes when the freedoms become perverted by minds that have no right to be allowed to make their own choices.

I definetly agree that gun laws should be revised – to what extent is up for discussion. But I do not believe that alone will have the biggest impact on any loss of safety for our children or adults in our society. Just as an illegal substance is purchased easily, a drinker can drive a car after drinking, a rapist will rape over and over again – the weapon isn’t always the enemy. It is the lack of understanding within the individual of just how far-reaching their actions will be.

Back to my original point – educate.

Educate our educators.

Educate mothers, fathers and child guardians.

Educate the religious leaders and the law enforcement.

Educate friends and family members to see when another is too impaired to get behind a car, to see when someone is mentally unstable to posses weapons of any sort. To recognize the flaws before the its too late.

Time is running out – we must start now. Education should be more than just science and mathematics.