This holiday season, I have found myself (on more than one occasion) in deep discussion with my kids. Conversations provoked by recent happenings both in Connecticut and here locally. They had a lot of questions for me. “Why would someone do something so terrible?” and “What can we do about it!” from my teenagers. “Why would someone want to hurt kids!” from my little twin boys, who are just 6 years old this year. Many of you have faced the same questions, no doubt.
I told them they were still safe at school, and they believed me. One of my little twin boys told me he wasn’t “afraid to go to school, because the bad man who hurt the kids is dead now, Mom and besides…I would just hide under my desk if something like that happened at my school.”
Innocence, and blind confidence…are a sweet and tender thing to behold.
A few days ago my dear friend Julie handed me a newspaper with the most amazing article in it. You can access it here. Writing about the Connecticut shooting, the columnist Jeff Benedict, shares a beautiful story of kindness amid the tragedy and reminds readers of the famous speech given by our own Abraham Lincoln. During his second inaugural address, the Civil War in full force Lincoln states these beautiful words…
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.”
I believe in charity and “firmness in the right”. When my children asked me “what can we do about these terrible things that happened?” I echoed the words of our dear former president. I told them, we can treat people kindly. We can look for ways to ease people burdens. We can watch for someone who is lonely and offer our love and friendship. We can “bind up the wounds” and work towards a “just and lasting peace.” It is really the only thing we have the power to control.
We ourselves, can choose to be good.
My family and I would like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas. Hope you have a wonderful time with your loved ones. I will be taking a few days off next week to spend time with my family, but will be back after Christmas with a new recipe or two just for you.