I am just off the plane from Texas, a quick holiday visit with my family when it was just a little cheaper to travel. By necessity (it’s past 9:00 on a school-night), this post will be quick.
No doubt, the Connecticut tragedy holds many of us in a grip of conflict, confusion, and overwhelming sadness. I’ve spent the last couple days thinking about all the vulnerabilities… of children and security in our schools; of a public without adequate gun legislation; and, perhaps most of all, of a mother and her troubled son. I was sick listening to an interview with the shooter’s neighbor who described the family broken by divorce, the child odd, and the mother too strict, and I wonder… had I been the parent to open up to such a neighbor, only to find blame and criticism and righteous indignation, would I have closed the door, plastered a smile, and pretended like I had it all under control, leaving myself, my son, and a piece of the world more vulnerable than I could ever imagine?
In the months ahead, we will no doubt hear a million different takes on what should happen to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again. But for me, right now, I am thinking about openness and trust. What kind of neighbor and friend would I have been? Could I be?
And I am reminded of another TED Talk by Brene Brown who says it all so perfectly. It’s worth a visit.