The latest school shooting in South Florida, in combination with recent local suicides, brought about many feelings and reactions,. Sadness. Worry. Frustration. Compassion. Helplessness.
I read through the media and Facebook posts. Many are trying to pinpoint the cause of school shootings. Should we blame the lack of mental health or the gun laws? There is no one answer. It's probably a combination of many factors, and there is no easy or quick solution. What can we do to assuage the feeling hopelessness or helplessness?
That one word is the key to a better world. Be inclusive. Be kind. Be polite. Be generous. When we are inclusive, kind, polite, and generous towards others, we invite them to belong. If people feel they belong, that they are valued, that they are part of a community, they don't feel isolated or targeted. There is no need to strike out towards others or towards oneself.
When we talk to our children about school shootings and violence and suicide, connect with feelings. Reassure them. Talk to them about it at their level. Encourage conversation and connection with your own child. Avoid creating fear and anxiety; rather, create a sense of empowerment. Talk to your children about what they can do. Talk to them about connecting with others, being inclusive, being kind, being considerate. It's about creating inclusive communities.