You know I have to write about it. I need to write about it. Like the rest of the nation, I am deeply saddened by recent events in Newtown, CT. But, I thought it was too sad, too awful, to be included here. I like my blog posts to be positive and uplifting. After all, I prefer to get my news online or in the “week in review” segments of CBS Sunday Morning, right before the more benign human interest and feel-good stories.
But, I didn’t want an uninvited elephant lurking around these cyber pages either. Because, let’s face it. Like an anniversary of 9/11, we may go about our business not talking about it, but you know we’re all thinking about it.
In deciding to face the topic head on, the question then became — when? Last Sunday was too soon. I hadn’t processed my thoughts yet. Details were still coming to light. That left today. At first, I worried about the closeness of the upcoming holiday. As it would turn out, this past week brought out the good in this horrible story. The world and I needed that time to take the unthinkable and put our own positive and uplifting spin on it. And just in time for Christmas.
On Monday, I began hearing about the ways in which people were responding. Aching to do something, folks all over the nation, the world even, donated goods, services, time and money to Newtown. People offered meals, therapists offered massages, mental health professionals offered their services — all for free. Someone drove in therapy dogs to comfort the town. Workers at national chains, like Panera, traveled to Newtown to cover shifts, so local employees could attend memorial services. Coffee at Newtown General Store was free for a day, paid for by some generous soul one day, a flooring company the next. The local florist was swamped with orders for flowers, plants and teddy bears. Starbucks was flooded with offers to pay for the food and drinks of Newtown residents. The outpouring was so great, it was asked that donations be coordinated through www.211ct.org in an attempt to organize it all.
Then on Tuesday, I received a petition on Facebook to sign the global sympathy card. I was number one million, nine hundred, ninety-something. I tried to share it, but encountered technical difficulties. If you’re my friend on Facebook, you might have gotten it multiple times or not at all. Anyway, it’s here. I’m sure you’ll be number two million-something. Also on Facebook, is the page “We Are Newtown,” set up as a place to send a message or other offering. You can now purchase a T-shirt there and all proceeds will go toward a scholarship fund for Newtown students who want to pursue a career in teaching or education. If you’re not on Facebook, you can go to www.wearenewtown.org.
By Wednesday, the 26 Acts of Random Kindness movement had started, inspired by journalist Ann Curry, who tweeted about the good that might be generated if everyone committed to honor each Newtown death with a random gesture of good will. Click here to read about or participate in the kindness.
So, don’t you doubt it. Especially, during this season. Don’t be tempted to believe it’s all bad, just because bad things happen. The majority, an overwhelming majority, of people are good. Even if it takes tragic events to remind of us that. Merry Christmas.