We are the leaves of one branch, the drops of one sea, the flowers of one garden.
~Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire
I know I’m not alone in my deep sadness over the deaths of the 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut. We are all connected, and when even one of us is taken, we all feel the loss. Since the shooting last Friday, I think we’ve all felt defeated in our attempts to make sense of such an unimaginable tragedy, and I think we’ve all wished that we could fix it somehow…that we could do something, anything, to somehow make it okay, or at least better.
In the past few days, I’ve posted a couple of blog posts by kindness girl, aka Patience Salgado (who lives just a couple of miles from me here in Richmond but whom I’ve never met), because I can always count on her to find a way to articulate difficult feelings and to turn sadness and despair into fuel for acts of kindness. I’ve also posted a link to an article about the dogs that were brought to Newtown to help comfort these people who are in the midst of an unbelievable nightmare. I’ve posted these things because I haven’t really known what else to do, and I thought I’d post a couple more in case, like me, you’re feeling the need to do something.
Many people have wanted to send cards and gifts to Sandy Hook Elementary School. If you do, please send to: The Town of Newtown, 3 Primrose Street, Newtown, CT 06470. I learned tonight that the children will not be returning to Sandy Hook but will instead be having school in the next town over for the remainder of the year.
I also read tonight about a movement that was started by NBC news correspondent Ann Curry challenging her Twitter followers to commit to 26 acts of kindness in honor of the 26 victims of the shootings. The idea has already gone viral, with people answering the call in a multitude of ways both large and small. For me, this is not only an opportunity to honor the victims, it’s also a way of helping to increase the light in the world. Every act of kindness shines a light, and against so many lights, the darkness cannot stand.
If this is something that resonates with you, think about how you can commit 26 acts of kindness. Buy a coffee for someone. Pay the toll for the car behind you. Donate to Toys for Tots. Do what feels right for you. Know that whatever you do, it will mean something and it will make a difference.
Wherever there is a human being, there is a chance for a kindness.