Sunday morning at mass, our deacon addressed the terrible tragedy which occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning. He said there is no answer to the age-old question “why” but when we are trying to find an answer, we must confront evil with good.
I suppose we will never be able to make sense of this tragedy; but if each of us (or even some of us) could consciously attempt to be better citizens as a tribute to the lost lives, maybe a little spark of light could result.
As a parent, I have to be honest; If I were directly involved, I probably would not want to hear about anything good coming from a tragic situation like the one in Newtown, at least not in the very beginning. I would not want the tragedy to have occurred period. I would want my child back where she belongs - at home, with me, safe and warm and awaiting Santa. All of those family members must feel the same.
But trying to find good when bad things happen is a coping mechanism I suppose. And
honestly, for those of us on the outside, those of us who were not directly affected by this awful situation, what is the alternative? Making the situation worse? Adding more negative energy to the universe than what is already out there by becoming angry, bitter and hopeless?
Finding ways to confront evil with good sounds like a really good solution. But then I
thought about it and realized I don’t particularly know how. I mean, evil doesn’t really walk up and introduce itself to me. Sometimes evil is a conception as well - a person who seems “evil” to me, could perhaps be a wonderful person to someone else. Situations that seem
evil to me might be entertaining for another. I suppose we have to find ways to
discern what evil actually looks like in our own lives and define it that way.
Some of the ways to confront evil for me would be to refuse to find humor in jokes that condone violence. I can refuse to see movies that contain gun violence - any movie where someone is running around with an AK47 assault rifle in a city is now on my “shall not view” list. I can shut off offensive music that demoralizes women or men.
And most importantly, I can rise on February 14thwith my OneBillionRising RVA community to demonstrate my commitment to ending violence. Let’s face it, the gunman’s mother was a victim of domestic violence as she was shot and murdered by her own son.
While I will probably never have an answer to my “why”questions, at least not on this earth, I can at the very least demonstrate that I do not and never will turn my back when violence occurs. I shall no longer sit back watching violence on television while people are experiencing it in reality. I shall add my voice to the magnitudes who are saying “enough”. I will embrace change and become a light. And on February 14th, I will rise.