Courage in the Face of A Monstrous Act

As a grandfather who is a marriage and family therapist, I refuse to shy away from feeling agony in solidarity with the Newtown community. This is a time for collective grieving over those who were killed and the pain of their loved ones. It is high time to cry out in support of change in our gun laws to prevent further senseless violence.

Standing up to violence takes enormous courage. It cost several teachers their lives. But, in their honor, what can we learn from their instantaneous protection of the children in their care? What about our “little” verbal assaults on those closest to us? Don’t we often do violence in our most important relationships? Isn’t violence on a continuum so that even every-day examples, often overlooked or minimized, can be seen in relation to monstrous acts in need of change?

Change isn’t easy. It takes courage to acknowledge when our anger gets out of hand. It takes courage to face our shame and pledge better behavior and then show it by our actions. It takes courage to face new missteps and ask for trust yet again. To really be in solidarity with Newtown’s courageous community, we all need to change by looking in the mirror at our own behavior. We are all responsible for the violence in our society.

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