I have a splendid family branch that reaches into the chilly fields of Ohio. Therefore, this week's school shooting has struck a deep chord within me.
Apparently the media over yonder has been quick to point fingers at "bullies" who do not actually exist. At least, not within the school. Not this time. This time, the bullies lived at home. That place we're supposed to find a peaceful haven away from the world? Yes, there.
A brilliant cousin-by-choice has been quite outspoken against the quick judgments made against the students who are truly victims. And even though the murderer is also a victim of sorts . . . how do we protect society against what happens behind the front doors of dysfunctional families?
This has all brought me to ponder families. I belong to a church that values the family unit above all else. I've always thought this was pretty nice - but I didn't truly understand the vital significance until today. I look at my own family growing up. We put the "dys" in "dysfunctional." BUT, I always felt loved and accepted. Maybe not always by the same people or even by blood relatives, but I always had SOMEbody I knew who loved and accepted me. And there was never a shortage of laughter, even during the worst of times.
I look at my own family, now. Do my kids feel loved? Do they feel accepted and understood and appreciated? I can name a hundred things abnormal about myself and my life . . . but I hope to God my kids at least feel loved and free to laugh.
And then I think of the families around me. The families who are involved with the same schools my children attend. Is there ANY way I can influence families not my own before they affect ME?? How do we love, nurture and talk to kids who don't belong to us? No matter how you look at it, we no longer live in villages. More and more, we keep children at arm's length, or further, lest somebody think we're up to no good and blow a whistle of impropriety. We live in a world where dogs sit higher on the ladder than children. Society will rush in to save abused animals swiftly and readily. But what about abused children? Is there ANYTHING we can do??
Many questions and no answer.
Sending my love and light to all of those affected in Ohio. It's the only thing I can do.