Its happened again…

Its happened yet again, another senseless school shooting. This time the place was Chardon, OH, and as of this writing two young people have lose their lives and three were physically injured. Of course the impact of this act is far greater than the five who physically were harmed, a community was harmed. For the community of Chardon, Ohio life as they know it ended yesterday when the alleged gunman fired the gun.

It’s easy to throw blame around when these incidents happen, many will say it’s the guns, some will say bullying, some will say it’s the breakdown of the family; the truth is none of us really know. The only thing we do know is that once upon a time, in a place really not that far away, the idea of a child going into a school with a gun and shooting their classmates was a pretty bizarre concept. Sadly violence in our schools has become so common that while our breath may stop for a moment when we hear these reports within a few minutes we go on with our day.

I’m just a woman in Maine who thinks too damn much but I can’t help wondering somewhere along the line we stopped communicating, we stopped connecting, we stopped being present for both ourselves and our kids and sadly that’s when shit happened. Bullying despite all the recent media attention is not new, hell I had my own personal bully back in the early 1980’s when I was in school. My family and the teacher put an end to the bullying as soon as they became aware of it. Now though thanks to the speed at which we live bullying can literally be a 24 hour a day event, no longer is home a safe haven in many cases.

I have heard people say things are no different than they were 20-30 years ago and it’s simply every generation looking at the younger one saying things are different or worse. I don’t know…I know that 30 years ago kids didn’t walk into a school and shoot up the joint. Worse case, a physical fight may have resulted not death. Seems like a mighty big change to me! Frankly no one wants to look around and say things are bad, we like progress and while we have made amazing progress from a societal and technological point of view, I sometimes wonder if that progress has come at the expense of our greatest resource…people! When people are not communicating, connected and feeling valued for simply being, it’s easy to lose hope and when we lose hope, we lose everything.

Ultimately as a society I think we need to stop and check in with ourselves, and unlike a foursquare check in, a self-check in requires more than a minute of our time. Yet the end result might be a place where no one feels so hopeless that violence is the only option to solve a problem.