They say that everything that happens to us in life is meant to teach us something. When tragedy strikes it’s often hard to find the lesson. We are buried in grief, fear, anger, and anxiety, and finding something to be grateful for is nearly impossible. This is especially true when 17 students and faculty members are brutally murdered in a school in your county. When innocent children lose their lives. When parents will never see their children again. When students, teachers, and faculty are terrified to return to school.
But as I was watching the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School participate in a town hall meeting on CNN last night the lesson came to me. These students and their movement, this is what is meant to happen. They are our future.
Our generation has failed our children. We have allowed crooked politicians to be bought by the NRA, and we have done nothing to stop them. But thankfully we can learn from our kids.
We can learn from the bold and fearless leader of the #NeverAgain movement Cameron Kasky who asked Senator Rubio to stop taking donations from the National Rifle Association, to hold our leaders accountable.
We can learn that we must fight for what we believe in and work tirelessly to make it happen.
We can learn that it’s OK to have a differing opinion from others and use our voice loud and proud to ask repeatedly for what we want.
And we can learn that we must all LISTEN.
Not just to these teens who are leading the movement to finally get gun reform. Who are brazenly marching to the steps of our state’s and nations capital and facing the politicians one on one demanding change. But also to each other.
And we must respond with kindness.
There are many problems plaguing this country, but at the forefront is our inability to have civil discussions, differences of opinions, and human compassion for each other. There are fruitless debates on social media, insults being hurled on all sides, and what’s lost in this debate is the one thing that matters the most, saving lives.
For every life lost at MSDH, for every child just starting their Kindergarten journey, there are thousands of other citizens who don’t have children. Who like to hunt. Who use guns as a sport. And as much as we don’t understand why they need to own semi-automatic weapons, they don’t understand what it feels like to birth a child. To pray for their safety every single morning as they leave your car and walk into their schools. To look at every opening and window on the school building and wonder if that’s where a shooter might enter.
So as we enter into this new time, where the energy is changing and the momentum is building, remember to please to ACT. Join Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Everytown, and volunteer to help make a difference. Call your school and ask what is being done about making the building safer. And if the answer is nothing start a fundraiser to enact change.
The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas were sent to lead us. To bring out our energy and passion and help to make sure all of our voices are heard.
I’m listening, are you?