I think we often see the best of humanity in the face of the worst. Even within the terror and brutality of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, we find the sadly beautiful heroism such as that of Teacher Victoria Soto and Teacher’s Assistant Anne Marie Murphy who each died using their own bodies to try to shield the young children from gunshots.
In the broader sense, we find a similar bittersweet positive side to the statewide and national reaction. The horror at this unfathomable tragedy comes hand-in-hand with an amazing outpouring of sympathy and support and of well-deserved nationwide attention.
I post about this on this blog now because I cannot help but juxtapose this horrible tragedy that entailed the murder of 20 young, innocent children against that to which we have otherwise become accustomed: the over 18,000 children who die from world hunger every single day, and the 6,000 more that die from lack of clean water, and the thousands more from other preventable and treatable diseases. That’s over a 1,000 kids an hour; that’s nearly a Sandy Hook level devastation every minute.
Please in no way take this to mean that I think the 20 brtually slaughtered children and other victims — including not only the dead but their loved ones — of the Sandy Hook shooting deserve any less attention, help or sympathy than they are getting. They deserve all that they get, more maybe. My heart breaks for every single one of them.
I can understand in many ways how the tragedy that occurs minute-after-minute, day-after-day feels like too much to bear and its regularity lends a hand to complacency. I am guilty myself. I am guilty of being too complacent about the horrific tragedy of children dying by the thousands every hour of painful, sickening hunger — in a world that has more than enough food to feed everyone and more than enough resources to provide clean water, clothes, shelter, healthcare and education to everyone. I truly believe it is literally child murder — and one in which you and I are accomplices. To think of it must make one sick — sick of all humanity, sick even of oneself.
Again, as I already said, in the face of tragedy we find some of the best examples of humanity. By being out of the ordinary, I think the Sandy Hook tragedy breaks through that sickening complacency, shattering the selfish shell the hides our true, suppressed humanity made up of our deep philanthropy and willingness to be dissatisfied.
The victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy deserve this huge public outcry and the Sandy Hook victims and their families deserve all this wonderful support and demonstrations of philanthropy. Do not at all think I would diminish that in the slightest. I would not have our hearts break any less for any one of those poor children at Sandy Hook, the dead and the unimaginably scarred living. I just wish our hearts would break just as much every other day and every other month and every other year for every other child who tragically starves at our hands, by our decisions. We have been unusually woken up by this unfathomable, horrific, devastating nightmare at Sandy Hook; let’s stay awake this time.