I had not heard this quote before yesterday, but it makes a lot of sense. And it got me thinking....
A lot of large-scale tragedies have happened in my relatively short lifetime. Many while I was a kid. I never realized how many until I was teaching a lesson on the Clinton and Bush administrations the other day and we were talking about the different attacks that had occurred during those 16 years.
Although I don't remember it, the first World Trade Center bombing happened when I was 5 years old.
I can recall the Oklahoma City bombing. I was in 2nd grade. Students in our school wrote poems and drew pictures to send to the families affected by the event, and our words and images were turned into a book.
In 5th grade, the shootings at Columbine happened. I remember the news reports. I remember the atmosphere at school changing in the following days. But I don't remember being scared. Maybe I was still too young to understand?
September 11th, 2001, I was sitting in my eighth grade English class when our principal came over the intercom and announced the attacks. None of it made sense at the time. Why would people do something like that? Now when I look back and watch the footage from that day, all I can focus on are the faces of the first responders as they headed towards those towers and wonder if they ever made it home that night.
West Virginia Tech. Fort Hood. Aurora, Colorado. Sandy Hook Elementary. And now, Boston.
I've started to lose track of all the crazy things that have happened in our world. I fear I'm starting to become desensitized to it all. Yes, I hurt when I see these things on the news. Please, don't misunderstand me. But I'm starting to notice that with each event that happens, those feelings of shock and raw emotions don't last nearly as long as they use to.
I think what scares me the most, though, is that these events and all their craziness will start to become "normal." I think about my students - they were only in kindergarten or 1st grade when 9/11 happened. I think about how much they've witnessed in their 15-16 years on earth. I wonder if events like Boston, or even Sandy Hook, are just another news story to them. They didn't even bring it up today in class... I wonder if they realize that it wasn't always this scary out in the world - you weren't constantly looking over your shoulders or suspiciously eyeing the person next to you. Or maybe it was and I was, again, too young to realize it.
We need to remember that there is still good in this world. There are still "helpers" out there. Extra prayers should be said today. Not just for the victims of Boston and their families. But also for those firefighters, police officers, EMTs and paramedics who helped. For the bystanders who put others before themselves. For the nurses and doctors who cared for all of the hurt and wounded. We need to remember them in our prayers as well.