Two More Balloons
In light of the tragedy in Colorado we are all, once again, hit hard by violence and sit with questions. People are scurrying to find that person or persons to blame as if we are all not responsible in some way. i believe it is time for people to begin understanding how each one of us IS contributing to the violence and dysfunction all around us. Maybe by beginning to take little steps and do an action, a loving gesture of support to a mother, a father, siblings who sit and suffer more than you or i could imagine right now could make a difference. i believe it does. i know it does.
Showing compassion for a human being in times of such devastation does not condone an act.
In addition to the support we are giving to the victims familes and others in Littleton, i am asking those of you who can find it in your hearts to do so... to please write a letter of support to the families of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. You can email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or snail mail to
4514 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd.
#128; Atlanta, GA
If you cannot find it within your heart to write such a letter at this time, PLEASE, at least take a few moments in silence to at least say a prayer for their families and also to look deeper into your heart and ask "Why can't I? What if it were my loved one?" This could have been one of your family members.
Thank you very much.
One heart <3
Two More Balloons
As i listened to the memorial service in Littleton, Colorado and heard the commentator tell us that 'twelve balloons were let loose in the sky for the twelve children killed and none for the killers,' i wept. i went outside and let go two balloons for Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the two young men who committed an act of violence leaving us in yet another state of shock and question. When human beings learn that we must let balloons go for the two "killers" as well, that is when we all begin our healing.
Yesterday i phoned my 8th grade science teacher. i wanted to connect to a time of innocence, to a time when we, too, had kids who were troubled and angry that lived among us. Kingston, NY, a city of 28,000 nestled in the Catskill Mountains, one high school, and many memories, is probably similar to Littleton, Colorado. When i go "home," my nursery school playmates are the firefighters, doctors, businessmen, thieves and drug dealers. my 9th grade boyfriend is the District Attorney and once i heard he had to step down off a case because it was his best friend from high school now turned major drug dealer that was being prosecuted. i'm sure when they used to be heralded on the basketball court no one ever imagined the turns life would take.
Talking with Mr. Castka, put me right back in the classroom i sat in thirty-two years ago. "You were a great teacher," i said. "The kids just aren't the same anymore," he said.
For years i have worked with gang kids and kids at risk, serial killers, mass murderers, rapists, clergy, hookers, CEO's, cops and every other label that comes to mind. i work with the secrets people hold deep inside, with rage and with shame many carry silently, that festers inside people around us that, in most cases, one cannot see on the outside. The rage i am speaking of is a strain so strong that it can result in what we are seeing as violence becomes the order of the day.
It is truly hard for people to grasp the fact that the answer lies in the humbling act of love. Love as an action. Love as compassion where you least feel you can show it. The great sages we revere, from Hillel to Moses to Jesus to Ghandi to Mother Theresa to Martin Luther King all were telling us the same thing. i often wonder when are we going to start listening and putting their words into action? Without taking the humbling, illogical and often painful actions required of us we will not achieve the more peaceful state of being that is attainable. This does not preclude consequences for actions but it does contribute to more peaceful solutions.
Just because one person acts out in a certain way and another person doesn't, does not make either person better or less than the other. We all struggle with our demons. That is our human nature and when our "neighbor" acts in violence we must respond with love not with more perpetual hate.
Dylan and Eric were acting out what society is teaching them. Violence, blame and the apparent inability for people to take responsibility for their actions are contributing to our social ills. The dysfunctional use of justifying and blaming has become a leading principle in a litigious world seeking spirit and harmony.
These boys aren't the first ones to show us we are in trouble nor, i fear, will they be the last. If we all don't start waking up to this fact soon we will continue this veil of denial of society's responsibility. i am not talking about the government's responsibility i am talking about each and every individual. Ask yourself, the next time you hear words like, "He should fry" or "He'll get what's due him" or "There's not a good enough place in hell for them" when you hear about a crime. Listen to your own contribution to continue rather than change the violence among us.
Some people go on to do great things, some get caught in the quagmire of life. In my work i have walked men to their executions, i have had tuff bullies and gang kids weep in my arms and priests and Rabbis come to me with their struggles of sexual issues. Behind every illusion of a human being lies a beautiful, loving spot. That, in my opinion, is our challenge as human beings and from where we must walk and talk, more than ever, when it makes no sense. We must let go balloons for Eric and Dylan and their families and perhaps one for all of us as well.
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