How can we ultimately keep our children safe at school, at a mall, at a theatre, etc.? Or can we? How do we put their backpacks on them and send them off to school knowing that they will be going to a safe place? Can we expect to send our kids out the door wearing a bullet proof vests from now on? Or maybe all civilians should be getting fitted for their own life saving vest device before stepping out into the world?
These questions seem to be rational and not as far fetched after seeing all of the statistics of re-occurring violent acts that have recently happened around the nation.
I have seen this question asked several times by parents and the experts on TV after witnesssing the horrific events at Newtown, Ct. The other question is, should we have armed personnel at the school at all times? Are more guns the answer? Are less guns the answer? We have now been forced to address these questions head on because you cannot put a price on any life, let alone on the lives of 20 innocent children!
So many questions, so confused- so many minds feeling numb from the fear and dis-belief. Is this really happening to our towns, cities, and our nation? Why? Why so much disregard for self and for the life of innocent people? Where is that line that was drawn between humanity and morality? Why is it so easy to cross now? Where did we go wrong? Aren't we attending church more often and putting our faith in God so much more? Aren't we more connected now that we have smart phones, facebook, and twitter?
How long will these feelings of anger and grief last? Are we just to forgive and move on as if nothing happened? Something tragic happened! It really did happen, but what do we do about it? Do we wait for the Government to tell us how to proceeed, do we trust in the church officials when they tell us to place our faith in the hands of God, or do we just wait to see what else happens? How can we ease the fears of the little child that doesn't have anyone to really talk to or for the child that wants to talk to someone, but there is noone because they have no budget for a counselor in the schools?
We don't know what all the solutions are, but I will offer some that I believe are helpful and needed if we are to make a positive difference in society. You have every right to agree or disagree of course!
1. Bring Back School Counselors Now!!
Nope, no counselor(s) in some schools- and if there are any, they are usually tied up with having to go from school to school, supervision, paperwork, meetings, etc., because they are the only one there for a case load of 900 to over a thousand students. Yes, its difficult to quantify how much motivation, inspiration, self confidence, self esteem, aspiration, and love of school is directly a result from meeting with a school counselor, but it happens! Haven't you ever felt great after having an inspirational meeting with someone you really respect and trust? Real school counseling is not a service that should be provided at the expense of trying to raise test scores either. School districts have to figure out how to meet the social/emotional needs of the kids and not assume that because they have a cheerful positive teacher, they are getting their social/emotional needs met. School counselors are trained professionals to help facilitate a true analysis of what needs a student might have. They are the bridge between parents and the schools when it comes to discussing important issues that may arise in their child's life. Building rapport and creating a safe environment is something that a professional school counselor is trained to do. They usually are the people that kids deliberately seek out when things on their shoulders get too heavy to carry by themselves. Hire ME I'm Available!
2. Open Up Your Heart and Really Listen
Are we really paying genuine attention to how others are really feeling? Are we
taking the time to ask, listen, and validate how someone is really feeling?
Have we stopped to look, acknowledge, and offer help to someone that seems that they need it? Stop and ask yourself, "How am I feeling? Am I any condition to offer good advice to anyone or do I even have the patience to listen to someone else's problems." Many of you are natural born care takers and will immediately say, "Duh", doesn't everyone do that? The answer is no. Test it for yourself when your around friends or colleagues. Wait to see how many truly ask you how you are doing and then wait to see if you feel if they truly care. If you get one out of 5, you are doing great! Make it a conscious effort to ask someone how they're doing and look at them with a gleem of sincerity and see if they open up a bit. If they do, just listen- don't offer any solutions unless they ask for your opinion, but just listen. Then share a bit about yourself or as much as you are comfortable sharing.
3. TELL SOMEONE ASAP
If someone is very comfortable with you and offers any information that they may want to hurt themselves or others, TELL SOMEONE! I know that its hard to know at times whether or not someone is just joking or saying things to be cool, it doesn't matter- TELL SOMEONE! Tell someone that can help that is. Let your parents know, a school counselor, principal, nurse, psychologist, teacher, police officer, social worker, another adult you trust with what you were told. Just TELL SOMEONE!!Don't worry about getting in trouble, if anything, most people will appreciate and respect the fact that you are helping someone out.
With that said, "Put a little MaxPower into your life!"
With Lots of Love and Respect,