'Reflections from Newtown'

My good friend, Karen Datangel, wrote a terrific piece on the Newtown shootings:

It's cruel. When you're young, there are certain places you feel like you can go to where no one will hurt you, ever. For me, it was my grandparents' houses, church, and school. Now that I'm older, I now know there's no such thing as "safe." But that doesn't mean that our children can't feel safe. There's still so much for kids to learn about the world, and as our children, they deserve to feel secure, be shielded from harm, and simply enjoy being a kid. They deserve the opportunity to learn, greet their educators, play with their friends during recess, and have Mom or Dad pick them up so they can tell them all about their day.

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But above all this, above our personal feelings on political issues and faith, we all should agree that we can stop hurting each other by loving and respecting one another. Nurture your children. Tell them to be kind and teach them between right and wrong. Teach them to respect everyone no matter where they're from, what they look like, who they love, and what they believe in. Encourage them to reach out to someone if they're looking lonely. And whether you're a parent or not, if you know someone who is having problems, talk to them. Let them know you're there for them and that they're loved. It all starts with giving love to those close to you and treating everyone around you with kindness. Those are the simple concepts that manifest and make all the difference in the world.

As I've said, as someone who works with young children, to know that twenty children lost their lives so needlessly is truly gut-wrenching. It's said parents should never outlive their children; my heart goes out to the parents facing this unimaginable reality.

Karen's words are the best I've read about the tragedy. Poignant and articulate -- read them.