Collected Wisps of Thought











{April 18, 2007}   Virginia Tech

It’s very difficult to write about tragedy when it happens in real life. Young adult novels often deal with tragedies, but when it strikes in our own world there aren’t words powerful enough to express our grief and anger. Yet to ignore it, to go on as if something profound has not happened in our midst seems wrong as well.

This week and in the weeks to come, many people will be on television and on the Internet giving advice and commenting on events. There’s not much I can add to this media mix. I am not Dr.Phil or Anderson Cooper. What I do want to add are my condolences to all those who lost loved ones, for all those who experienced the voilence first hand, and for all those whose lives have been disrupted in a horrible way. My heart breaks for you.

The only other thing I can offer are my prayers. I pray for our nation. We are still a great nation, and I truly believe we would like to stop the violence in our midst if only we could figure out how. May our citizens and our leaders be granted wisdom. I pray for the people who live on this planet with me. We are so diverse, and every one of us wants to feel safe and loved. Safety and love should be infinite resources, yet too often they are scarce. May we someday reach the point where every person in every nation receives their share. I pray for empathy. May each one of us know in our hearts that other people are real and that their suffering matters. Let us be challenged in big ways and small ways to eliminate the suffering of others.

No good can come of tragedy, but people can be moved to do good in reaction to what they see and experience. Let each one of us be moved. Whether it is through not calling someone a derogatory name in person or on-line, or reaching out to help someone in need, taking a deep breath and trying to understand someone’s point of view with whom you disagree about gun control or any other inflammatory issue, or making a donation so someone else has the resources they need to feel that much safer, take action. For all the suffering that others will inflict, let yourself be someone who eliminates it.

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