Monday, April 16, 2007

Even Now, Try A Little Kindness

What misery is visted upon families of students at Virginia Tech today.

I have two nieces about to go off to college this year. Most of us send our kids off to school every day with nary a second thought. We don't raise our kids to keep them from the world. We raise them to send them into it.

The week will be long with memorials and too much news and eulogizing the dead young men and women, alongside the painful uncomfortable relief of parents whose children were not among the 33 (and counting) dead students.

What enormous pain or anger compels a single human being hurling toward such a ferocious act of violence? What might have been the last straw? There's no telling. But I do know how I feel when I've had a really bad day or gotten myself into a difficult spot and I have an encounter that makes it all worse. Conversely, I'm always all the more grateful for the person who comes across with a smile, who understands, who shoes me a little respect, or who takes the time to listen.

I try to be that person more often, even though it isn't always easy. Most of you who stop by here I suspect already do what you can, making up for a lot of others who wouldn't stick their necks out to save themselves a lick of trouble much less help someone in need. And you don't always know who's in need.

So just try a little kindness. It doesn't really cost anything, and you never know who it might touch.

Here's a song about that from Bobby Osborne, a pretty unique and talented figure in the bluegrass world. I was mighty taken with him a few weeks back at the Southern Ohio Indoor Music Fest. I've been wanting to write something about him ever since, and while this isn't the best reason, it's as good as any.

I know some folks will come by here and get angry that I posted this perky tune on such an awful day. But if more people followed Bobby Osborne's suggestion, we might see fewer days like this.

Meanwhile the Va Tech family from students to parents to faculty, admin, and alumni are all on my heart. May the path to healing be free of the heavy stones of regret.

Try A Little Kindness


At April 17, 2007 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At its most basic, it really does come down to kindness, doesn't it!

Love you, MM.


At April 17, 2007 5:03 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

There's a lot of wild finger-pointing going on, as though there's someone still around who is to blame for this. That's usually the first thing that happens. Yes, we are a gun culture. Yes, that's bad. I don't think that explains this level of rage. It's not cultural, it's insane. The healing will take a long, long time, if it ever comes at all. Those hardest hit by this will have to stitch up their hearts, and hope the stitches don't break... to infinity.

At April 17, 2007 5:35 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

I think you're right, Shadow. I am guessing though, that at some point, which this young man had long passed, even kindness can't really turn something like this. It's hard to imagine what went on in that kid's head, and who if anyone could have been any help. No matter how many folks tried to help, it would have been up to him.

That blame game, Blueberry, it's on my last nerve, too. I agree, this level of rage isn't about guns. My guess is it may be about the power of depression to manifest in unimaginable ways.

I wonder about whether healing will come, too. I hope so.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you both are doing well.


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