Editor's Note: As Harris Nussbaum is a well respected retired local school counselor, I asked him to write something to help the community deal with Newtown news. Here are his thoughts. - LH
I remember some years ago walking around the peaceful community of Newtown with my wife and relatives who live near Sandy Hook Elementary. When I heard about the tragic shooting that took place there, it didn’t seem possible that it is the same place.
I was saddened that so many young children and adults died; that the parents of those lost would not be putting their children to bed or watching them open their special presents for the holidays.
I thought about the long-term effect it will have on all the families that live there. I thought about the fact that so many people have semi- and automatic weapons, and wondered why. I wished that we as a country set our priorities so the troubled young man who did the shooting had been able to get the support he needed, and that prevented his terrible actions.
I thought about the financial difficulties many people have been experiencing and how the funds for mental health support is being eliminated to help balance budgets.
I still find myself feeling saddened when I think about the shootings at Newtown, but even though it is seems to happen oh so frequently, I see our country filled with far more individuals who want to do good and not ill. I see so many people doing all they can to help others and our communities. I see people of all ages doing untold hours of service.
I hope this tragic event will remind us not of the evil in the world, but of the possibilities of what we can and need to do. Maybe it would help if each of us listened more to those around us, or took a day to just help someone, or gave a few extra dimes to a needed cause.
Maybe we can stand up for programs that will benefit the needy and mentally ill, even thought we may have to pay a little extra. Maybe giving as many smiles to family, friends and strangers as possible will help.
Random acts of kindness won’t take away the feelings we have from that terrible act in Newtown, but it will be a starting block to make this a better world. I think we can make a difference, even if for one person.
In the meantime we prey for those who lost their loved ones and hope they find peace. Thank you for helping.