Here is a thing I know. The world can break your heart and still not break your spirit.
What a week this has been as we have had to face yet another senseless loss of life at the hands of someone whose desperation would have been a tragedy in his own life and now must be a tragedy for so many other lives due to the prevalence of weapons of mass destruction in our nation. That people of good faith–or even bad faith but some human awareness–could not see the need to take immediate and decisive action after the loss of life in Sandy Hook so many years ago continues to be heartbreaking.
And meanwhile, many around us suffer from the same kind of despair, which when mixed in a cocktail with the form of toxic masculinity which prevents any real expressions of grief, we see tragedy after tragedy after tragedy.
Our heartbreak is real. And we must declare days of mourning when we focus on our grief and do not try to push it away. Yet, for some who lost those they love this Valentine’s Day week, we must be the holders of spirit for their hearts are so shattered. And we must also declare days of action when we vowed to do what we can, to call the White House and share our views as voters, to call our representatives and demand swift action and an end to taking contributions from the NRA and other gun advocacy groups. Perhaps also, some of us may want to make a donation to Sandy Hook Promise, a group of parents and other advocates who know firsthand why we cannot afford to simply mourn because of the unbearable cost of inaction.
What is clear from the little we know, is that the young man who took so many lives was also heartbroken. As one commentator said, how could it be that someone too young to buy a beer could buy an AK 15? How can we meet one another in different ways and reaffirm rather than shatter the bonds of our common Humanity? And all of us, who know what it is like to be on the receiving side of grief morphed into violence, how can we keep from speaking out?
The world can break your heart and still not break your spirit. Let us hold in our hearts all of those who no longer know this truth and all those lives who’s promise will never unfold.