It’s been a while since I’ve blogged though there has been so much on my mind and in my heart to write about. Over the past few months there have been many reminders of how quickly lives can change. What concerns me is how quickly we forget the lessons learned and go back to living our lives the same old way.
I’ve been so inspired by the young students from Parkland who show such courage in voicing their needs, their fears, and their outcry for changes. Let us not forget that they are still grieving and still reeling from the trauma of such a horrific tragedy. They never expected to be fighting for gun control reforms as teenagers in high school.
Their vulnerability is as raw as it gets. And they use it passionately as a launchpad for their growing movement for change. They are not fearful of conflict, criticism or failure in their quest. These high school students lived through their worst fears ever on Valentine’s Day.
They want — and they deserve — to be heard, to be valued and to feel safe (at school, at a concert, in a movie theatre, at home).
In the past month and a half, these young people have grown in a multitude of ways and matured far beyond their age. They’ve become articulate, poised public speakers and impassioned change makers. Their accomplishments in that very short timeframe are compelling. Not only did they set goals, they implemented them: Walkouts at schools across the country; amassing social media followers around the globe; and the national March for Our Lives occurring today.
What stands out with these Parkland students is that they want safety in schools for everyone — students, teachers, everyone in our schools – for the common good of all.
Brene Brown (Research professor at the University of Houston and author of three #1New York Times Bestsellers) offers this insight about many of the problems our country is facing today:
“When we ignore fear and deny vulnerability, fear grows and metastasizes. We move away from a belief in common humanity and unifying change and move into blame and shame.”
These high school kids get that. They are sharing their emotional horrific stories about that fateful day and urging us to take immediate action so no other child may ever have a similar experience. They care deeply about each other. It matters — and it matters to all of us.
Here is another quote from Brene Brown that drives home our responsibility to come together and find meaningful solutions to a growing, complex problem in this country.
“If we are going to change what is happening in a meaningful way we’re going to need to intentionally be with people who are different from us. We’re going to have to sign up and join, and take a seat at the table. We’re going to have to learn how to listen, have hard conversations, look for joy, share pain, and be more curious than defensive, all while seeking moments of togetherness.”
It is often noted that children teach us so much about what is truly important in life. The Parkland students have wasted no time in reminding us that ignoring gun violence is no longer acceptable.