After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the tweets and Facebook posts started flying. Lots of thoughts and prayers were offered.
Mere days later, some of those kids who survived that horrific event, were on TV talking about how thoughts and prayers are no longer enough.
They never were.
Of course, I am not saying thoughts and prayers are not good things to offer. I mean, who doesn’t want to be thought about during tough times? (Or any time, for that matter). Who doesn’t want prayers said on their behalf?
That’s not it. It’s totally fine to offer thoughts and prayers, but if that’s all you do when there’s a crisis, then no, thoughts and prayers are not enough.
The same is often said when someone gets cancer, or learns her cancer has progressed, or worse, when that someone dies. Or when anyone dies, for that matter. Thoughts and prayers messages start spilling out all over the place. Again, this isn’t a bad thing, it’s good.
But what does the person with cancer and/or her loved ones really need or want?
What might anyone grieving really need or want?
Might it be something more than thoughts and prayers?
I think so. Thoughts and prayers, PLUS some action, is more likely what they need or want. And the action needn’t be anything huge.
But something huge is exactly what those students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School managed to do. And not just them, but thousands of other students across the country did as well.
I admire how those kids from MSDHS somehow garnered the strength, courage and determination to start organizing and to start demanding real, meaningful action from lawmakers, in fact, from all adults to DO something.
The March for Our Lives they successfully organized and carried out was inspirational to watch for a lot of reasons, but mostly because the emotions were raw and real and because the movement’s mission was front and center.
Yes, the mission of sensible gun reform. The mission to do something. Now. The mission to save lives. The mission to get people out to vote.
It’s almost embarrassing what a mess my generation has made of the world. Well, not almost embarrassing, it is. There are so many problems, I don’t need to spell any of them out for you, ‘cuz we are all too darn well aware of the many messes.
I don’t know about you, but once in a while, I have felt like, jeez, the future looks bleak for my kids and their kids, much less the kids that come after them. I mean, not all the time, but I have definitely had those moments of feeling sorta hopeless regarding where the world is headed.
What about you?
I feel more hopeful again because of the actions of those kids.
Like those kids have said time and time again, this isn’t a political issue. Or it shouldn’t be.
No, it’s a keep us safe issue.
It’s a ‘kids don’t wanna feel scared in school’ (or at the movies, or at the mall, or in church, or on their street, or in their backyard) issue. It’s a parenting issue. It’s a teacher issue. It’s a life and death issue. It’s a what sort of society we want to be issue.
It’s NOT a we are coming for your guns issue, or a let’s get rid of the second amendment issue.
Again, it is not a partisan issue.
The movement these kids have managed to get rolling in such a short amount of time is truly impressive.
The momentum will only keep building. Change is coming. You can feel it. The movement continues. Learn more here.
I don’t want this post to turn into an all over-the-map ramble, but I do also want to mention a phrase that’s irked me. It fits with this post’s theme.
It’s this one – oh, they’re just kids.
Of course, it’s all about context. Like usual, right?
For example, when those first graders were gunned down at Sandy Hook, they were just kids. No, they were just little kids.
Like so many others, I thought after that, things had to change.
Those kids were just kids. First graders, for crying out loud. They were too young to use their voices, although of course, their loved ones have not been quiet.
My point is, just kids often fits.
But when someone says, they’re just kids, meaning their opinions aren’t important or suggesting just kids can’t possibly have anything to contribute, well, that’s another story. Then, just kids, takes on a condescending tone – a tone that doesn’t place the same value on kids.
But I’ve digressed…
The message tucked into this post is meant to be one of hope.
I am feeling inspired and more hopeful because of the actions of a bunch of just kids.
And as far as offering thoughts and prayers when someone I know is newly diagnosed with cancer, or when I hear of another death due to metastatic disease, or when I turn on the news and learn about any troubling event; whenever possible, I’m going to make an effort to offer something more as well.
I’m going to try to DO something, too.
Because thoughts and prayers are not enough!
What about you?
Call your elected officials. Demand action. Do it today.
No matter what the situation, do you think the phrase, sending thoughts and prayers, has become too rote a response?
How do you feel about the issue of gun safety reform? (As usual, all viewpoints, welcome).
Do you personally know someone impacted by gun violence?
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