20 schoolchildren are dead in Newtown, Connecticut.
Will I ever be able to make a living as a writer?
20 precious lives were extinguished on Friday, December 14, 2012. Hardly even lived, never to be fully realized.
Time to put things into perspective. Again.
I am an author, but infinitely more important than this, I am a father of four. As a stay-home dad, I had the extreme misfortune of being exposed to the hideousness of that day on an almost unhealthy level, though nowhere near the extent of those who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook Elementary.
I sat at my keyboard, hands trembling. I was sick to my stomach. The live, streaming updates that bombarded me were unconscionable, appalling, despicable, and heart-wrenching. I didn't bother getting dressed, finishing chores, or even attempting to continue typing my most recent novel for the rest of the day. Things just didn't seem worth a damn. It saddens me to say that I feel no different today.
Will I ever?
All I could muster yesterday, when I picked up my children from school, was to smile halfheartedly at each one of them, tell them I loved them, and hug them just a little bit tighter than usual. They aren't just my futures, they are - all of our children are - the future leaders and cornerstones upon which our evolving society will be built. And to lose even one of them so needlessly, so senselessly, is a severe blow to the global society.
No life is worth losing in such a tragic manner, old or young, and the teachers and other members of the faculty that lost their lives protecting the young, I grieve for you as well. And though no life is any less valuable than another, the fact that so many young lives were lost makes it that much more difficult for us to wrap our collective heads around the tragedy. Maybe that's why I can't stop thinking about those little, defenseless children.
The human species as a whole gets knocked down several notches whenever we kill the young.
Even though the events that transpired in Newtown are thousands of miles away from where I am up in snowy Alberta, Canada, I was still deeply wounded by the sickening news. And so we all should be wounded by this tragedy, whether a parent or not. We are, each and every one of us, members of the human family, and as such are all connected to one another. This catastrophe has sent a shudder not just through the town of Newtown, but also through the entire human community.
What are we going to do about it? We can't just regurgitate the old "go back to living our normal lives" sentiment again. Is there nothing that can be done? Or are these senseless, heinous occurrences an inevitable facet of living amongst other humans? Will it ever stop? Do we really, truly want it to stop?
I cannot fathom how such madness, such vile atrocities can still occur in our world, but maybe I shouldn't be surprised anymore. Now, whenever I need to conjure up some kind of ungodly evil to pit against one of my protagonists, I need only look out the window.