Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why We Watch

Like many around the world, I have been glued to the TV since Friday morning when evil descended on a quaint little town in Connecticut. Newtown will never be the same after the horrific events, which took place that morning.  When a twenty-year old shot his mother, and then shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School using an assault rifle. He then proceeded to steal the lives of 20 1st grade children and 6 adults including the principal of the school.

There are of course others who do not watch, whether it is just too difficult to do so, or whether they just do not want to give acknowledgment to the offender.  They do not wish to immortalize the sick mind who could perpetrate such evil acts.

I honestly do not believe that anyone wishes to glorify the offender.  I do understand that at times we need to talk about them ... to learn the lessons of what had taken place.  To hopefully gain answers to the "WHY?" when a tragedy takes place.

Sadly the perpetrators often are immortalized .... such as in the case of Paul Bernardo, or Bin Laden, or Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.  And sadly there will be sick minds out there who will capitalize on tragic events, those who look up to the modern day villains ... and even those who will attempt to emulate them by way of copy-cat events.  Or even trying to out-do evil with greater acts of evil.  Some will say that a sick-minded person who watched the aftermath of Adam Lanza will go out and shoot up a pre-school,, or a hospital nursery.

The fact is that evil exists.  We know this.  We saw this the day the planes flew into the World Trade Center Towers.  We saw this on Friday when we learned of the tragic events as they unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut.  But we also know that goodness will triumph over evil.  God is stronger than any evil that may exist.  And we must be stronger.  We must be better.  We must have faith.

In the meantime we grieve.  We are sorrowful for the ones who are grieving the loss of loved ones.  We mourn with the community affected by the slaughter of innocence .... just days before Christmas.

And in doing so, we often times feel helpless.  The truth is - there is nothing we can do.  There are no magic words.  There are no fixes.  The only thing to take the pain away - to bring back the lost lives - is not within our power.  And so ... if we are able, we go to the prayer vigils.  We attend memorial services.  We stand outside churches while funeral services are taking place.  We lay down flowers and light candles, we place teddy bears, we pray.  We show up in the physical to be a part of the communal network of love and support.

But for those who are not able to drive to the next town ... to attend ... to share in the grief ... to BE present in a show of support.  We watch.  We watch from other Cities, States, Countries and sometimes Continents.

We watch and we pray and we cry.  Because we feel helpless. Because we feel their pain.  Because we are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles.  Because we are human.  Because we care.  Because we love.  Because we grieve with those who are suffering.

Ultimately we watch because we know that although we are often separated by geography, we are united, indeed connected by spirit.  We are one.  Therefore when a community mourns ... we all mourn.