From Sorrow to Action
Dec 15, 2012

Letting unspeakable violence fuel the fight for love, peace & understanding

I don't believe in coincidence, and there are moments when irony is completely inadequate to describe something you've witnessed or experienced. Such was the case on Friday, when the world looked on in horror as the news poured in from Newtown CT about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I was on the air when the news broke, and had just concluded an hour-long segment with Dr. Kathleen Walls about how we as a society need to do more to increase our emotional vocabulary so that we have better responses to stress or disappointment than violence. We had just finished the conversation.

And now we are a nation in mourning. A country full of people horrified that a boy not even old enough to buy liquor legally could, early on a Friday morning, murder his mother and then steal her guns to go shoot up the school where she worked. 18 children, ages 6 and 7. 8 educators and administrators who put themselves between a gunman's wrath and the lives of children they were determined to protect. Hundreds of children who had to be led out of the building with their eyes closed, following the panicked but well-trained voices of their teachers, so as not to further witness death and bloodshed. Safely led back into the arms of relieved waiting parents. Safe, save for 18 babies who will be the rallying cry for tighter gun control laws and better access to mental health services. People who are desperately trying to make this loss of life mean something greater than just a marked uptick in American homocide stats.

One of those 18 babies, Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, was the niece of an old college friend of mine. I don't believe in coincidence, and know that this is a very small world, but even I remain stunned that I could know one of the victims in this tragic, horrifying moment in history. In a small suburban town a few states away from where I work and live. One beautiful little girl, all bouncy curls and dimpled smiles, that brought tears and stunned silence directly to my doorstep and personalized this sense of loss in a way that makes this more than just another depressing headline for me to report on the air to my audience. A face. A name. A family, interwoven with mine. And this sense of duty I feel is why we must move our society away from 'hoods and back to the village, where all children are ours and all justice is restorative. Thicker than our indifference or bloodlines is the humanity that binds us all. A humanity that will only be fully honored when we prevent other tragedies like this from happening. To our children. To ourselves. To anyone.

Here is last week's playlist: