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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Shootings in VA

I've been somewhat addicted to the news reports of the shootings at Virginia Tech--not because I have a morbid curiosity of what happened, who died, who did it and why--but because I am gripped with this fear for the future of our kids. I guess I want some answers. How do I prepare my children to live in this world? Our world is becoming increasingly violent. Places we thought were safe are becoming battlegrounds. I realize that as far as countries go, we are relatively safe. We don't have to worry about bombs or insurgents or radical soldiers. We really don't have to worry about if we are going to eat. We don't see blood on the streets. However, that makes it worse when things like the shootings in Virginia happen. This isn't supposed to happen here. So what do I do? Do I keep my children close to me and never let them go anywhere? Do I homeschool? Do I carefully select every one of their friends for them? Do I not let them out of my sight ever? And if I do, can I even protect them? I have struggled with these questions often since I became a parent. But even as I type them I know that the answer to every one of those questions is NO. Someday our kids will have to live in the real world. They will have to interact with people and develop "survival" skills on their own. Do I protect them as long as I can or do I allow them to develop those skills that are need to live in this world while they are young? The thought that keeps coming back to me as I struggle with these thoughts is to have faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Elder Richard G. Scott said, "Let the Savior be your 'lead' in life. He has said, 'I am … the Rock of Heaven … ; whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall.' The Redeemer will safely lead you over the most difficult obstacles of life. His laws are absolutely secure anchors of protection that dispel fear and assure success in an otherwise dangerous world. Such a life will certainly provide you peace and happiness."

We know that the world is only going to get worse. We know that there are terrible things to come. But if we teach our children in the ways of the Lord, if we teach them about Jesus Christ and the atonement, if we teach them how to communicate with Heavenly Father through the Spirit, if we teach them to be good people, and if we teach them to have faith in themselves and in the Lord then they can effectively deal with anything they experience. They will know where to find peace in a chaotic, violent world. And as parents, if we do the same thing, in the end, everything will be okay. We can't control what happens in the world, but we can control how we deal with it. I don't think life was meant to live in fear and anxiety.

Now that I've typed this out I feel so much better. The unsettledness in my heart has lessened. I know that, with help, I can do this immensely intimidating job of parenting in today's world. I guess I just needed to get it out. Thank you. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the terrible occurance yesterday in Virginia.

UPDATE:
While I was glued to the news earlier this week, now I am officially boycotting it. The media has officially taken this tragedy and turned it into a three-ring, let's capitalize on other people's pain, overdone circus. It's sickening. Really.

2 comments:

The McMillans

Christie,

I haven't turned on the TV for this very reason. I am so afraid myself, and worried about the coping skills we see on a daily basis. Even by people at the grocery store. IT's as if no one knows how to say excuse me, or appologize for cutting anyone off in public. It seems every man for himself, and no one stops to consider how important it is to be kind to your fellow human being. You are absolutely right though, you cannot shelter them, and cannot be afraid of those who make our lives scary or violent. I agree, children need to know that their spirit, and soul will have to find rest somehow, and they have the opportunity in this life. Although there is an unsurmounting display of violence in this world, there is beauty all around, and if you see it, they will see it through your eyes as well. I suggest turning off the TV and saying a "requiem," or "Pie Jesu" for those who need to find their loved one's peace. And grant their spirits rest after their lives were taken without respect or regard for others around. You are an incredible mother, and the task is daunting and you do it with Grace.

The Blakes

I echo your feelings. It was hard not to be glued to the TV at first, now it's hard to watch one more story about it. I'm worried about the future too. Becoming a mom in the last month has brought new highs (joy, excitement, anticipation...) and new lows (fear on a level I've never known before). I'm so very grateful for the gospel, it truly is my saving grace! Thanks for the post.