IWUZ driving to the store to buy a video camera when I flipped on the radio and heard; ——“gunman is dead”. I hoped it was an update on an old case; but it wasn’t.
I have eight grandchildren, and although they are all older than the children at Sandy Hook school; some are the same age as the victims of Columbine. Hug your family.
As I listened to the unfolding horror; 27 dead; 18 of them elementary school children; it occurred to me; “They can’t protect us. They never could”.
Who do I mean by “they”? I mean our government; our bureaucrats; our police; our teachers. None of them ever could really protect us, but for some reason we have turned more and more of our lives, freedoms, and responsibilities over to them.
The result is that we no longer feel the same sense of involvement with with our neighbors that we once did. Nor with their kids. Our kids.
In a famous speech, Hillary Clinton once quoted the African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child.
She said: “Right now there are parents questioning a popular culture that glamorizes sex and violence, smoking and drinking, and teaches children that the logos on their clothes are more valued than the generosity in their hearts.
She went on to say: ”And we have learned that to raise a happy, healthy and hopeful child, it takes a family, it takes teachers, it takes clergy, it takes business people, it takes community leaders, it takes those who protect our health and safety, it takes all of us. “Yes, it takes a village”.
So far, so good.
But then, speaking about her husband Bill, she said: “It also takes a President”.
No, actually, it doesn’t. If only she had stopped with the village. If only our previous governments had stopped with the village; maybe even helped the village, and let the village help the people.
But for the last 70 years, Presidents, and Prime Ministers, and Premiers, and Governors, have “helped” everyone where there might be a possibility to gain votes; and they brought with them an army of bureaucrats, lobbyists; lawyers, and experts in everything to run our lives.
So now, the people of the village hardly know each other because the government is looking after us, all the time, and everywhere; so we don’t really need each other as much as we used to.
Except that they can’t look after us cradle to grave; and we do still need each other. More than ever.
Look at the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island. The Federal Emergency management Agency, (FEMA), was there almost immediately; for photo-ops. Neighbors – from as far away as Oklahoma, were there to help.
And it won’t be governments; but family, friends, and neighbors that will really help grieving families go through this one.
In the end, we can’t always prevent tragedy, but by being involved we can reduce the risk; and we can deal more effectively with the aftermath of tragedy when it does strike.
It doesn’t take a President.
It does take the village.
Let’s go back, for our children’s future.