Just like it will happen all over the country, high school and middle students here in our area will be walking out in planned demonstrations today. . .four weeks after the horrible tragedy in Parkland, Florida. Our kids can and should be encouraged to thoughtfully and peacefully express their thoughts and beliefs on this pressing issue, and we applaud them for their activism.
One week after the Parkland tragedy, I blogged some initial thoughts. A couple of friends pushed me to go even further, offering some specific strategies youth workers and parents can employ to follow-up in constructive ways with the kids they know and love. Like everyone else, the question I’ve been asking is this: “What is the solution?” And, like everyone else, I’ve been juggling a variety of “action points” and “do-this-or-that” steps as I’ve pondered the answer to that question. As with everything in life that rocks our world and sends us into some level of shock, the dust needs some time to settle so that our solutions are couched not in the heat of our emotions, but in wisdom. Developing wisdom and coming to those conclusions takes time. . . a reality that we sometimes find difficult to accept. Taking time gives us an opportunity to move beyond the initial event, into the more hidden levels of causation. In our minds, immediate crisis demands immediate response. . . not just in the necessary triage, but in prevention. I think this is a mistake we make, allowing our emotions to lead to knee-jerk rather than well thought out responses.