Connecticut Shooting: Short Turn Reactions or Long Turn Remedies

I want you to understand that I do not condone the behavior of one who shoots other people, but I feel compassion and grieve for the lonely person, often cut-off-from a world experience of living among others with feelings of acceptance.  Professionals and experts are often called upon to stop hurtful, violent behavior from happening. But talking about it after the fact does not help much. Instead, each of us ordinary people must begin to heighten our awareness of the value that every community member, child, adult,and elder offers.  We can look around to the children and people who cross our paths and support what we see of value in them. We can help someone find what he does well and support that happening —even little demonstrations, with a gentle smile or nod of the head. Give people our smile, a kind word, and above all, freedom from criticism and judgment.

We live in a society filled with well-meaning people who like to believe in high standards of achievement: the best schools, the most skillful achievers, outstanding athletes/artists/test takes and on and on and on. Competition reigns. Bumper stickers that read, “My child is an Honor Student” for all to see. But what of the child who finds reading hard to nearly impossible even though he may have tried with all his heart and soul until the pain became too great. What of a person who awakens every day with a low grade depression that slowly builds into a larger sense of disenfranchisement with no hope of finding a way out of dungeon of hurt. What about living with goals that don’t fit, unable to identify with age mates: goals  that they can never reach because they are who they are deep inside, only no one sees it?

All people want to be accepted and feel good about themselves starting at a very, very young age. That is the birthright that needs to be provided to all our children and maintained throughout a lifetime. The elimination of standards that are too high, which are not motivating must be set aside. “Mother of the Year” awards, degrees provided by educational institutions and rewards for excellence that are out of the reach of most regular, everyday people, all of whom have something special about them, need less press time than the wonderful happening of achieving one step by someone with impaired movement, slow reading of a passage by someone with major learning differences or the unimaginable energy it  takes to raise children while working full time and studying to better oneself.

I am so terribly sorry for the losses in Connecticut today. I am terribly sorry that someone felt so poorly that the only path of his life led to striking out to create the losses. Let us not forget to have compassion, give a smile, look for a glimmer of individual expression no matter how meager. In so doing, we will make the world a better place. And perhaps we will find that we are linked together in a way that may reduce the painful expression of hurt, violence, and gut-wrenching loss.

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3 Responses to Connecticut Shooting: Short Turn Reactions or Long Turn Remedies

  1. Sandra Liao says:

    Totally agree. If we can’t build others up, at least let’s not carelessly hurt a sensitive soul with a cold look or cutting words etc, unless we’re hurting too. Hurt people hurt people! When nobody discern what’s going on, they continue to exchange hurts, and hurts get compounded and soon it’s a mess. It really takes a strong self-image, knowledge and awareness to break the chain effect. Dr. Weiss has a beautiful heart and soul.

  2. LynnWeiss says:

    I am glad you responded to the phenomenon about ” Those who are hurting themselves, tend to hurt others”. It is one of those psychological reactions that happens outside of our conscious awareness—unless we become aware of it.

    The important part to remember is that we must be aware that we all tend toward this responsive hurting.

    It is important, too, to realize that we can raise our consciousness about this reaction to others if our pain level is moderate. We can learn ways to keep our levels down and help our children to get help from skyrocketing frustration, abuse, and fear so the their levels of pain don’t become greater than their ability to manage the resulting expression of a horrendous need for help.

    Once we are aware of the hurt reaction, it is important that we commit to deal with our own feelings before we take them out on others, place blame, or just plain attempt to reduce our own pain by throwing it toward another (shooting it at others, who may be innocent victims).

    Sadly it takes a good deal of courage, inner strength, and awareness to catch ourseleves. If our pot full of anger, rage, and pain it too high, we will tend to be blind to the mechanism that is working through us to reduce our hurt and will act it out inappropriately. Often called mental illness, rage reactions, and the like, the hurting individual will simply not be able to control himself or herself. The pain takes over the brain of the person, dictating violent, hurtful expression

    That is when society and those who tend to the behavior control and mental health of those out of control must step in and stop the individual, make weapons (from guns to fists to words) unavailable, and make it a whole lot easier for families and individual to get treatment early in order to avoid the build up of the uncontrollable pain.

    To curb the social atrocities, it is necessary to put our societal money and behavior control laws where they can prevent the build-up of such rage. And we must become a humane society where we attend to individual differences and care for others who need our help even when they are too young or too wounded to ask for themselves.

    We must change our attitudes from seeing punishment of those who misbehave as the answer. Instead, let us guide, teach, and compassionately guard those who need help—guarding them from their own inability to control themselves as reduction of their pain is reduced. At that point two victims are spared: 1) the perpetrator in pain and 2) the victim of that perpetrator.

    Finally, we must use our media as a helpful teaching/training tool to convey healthy, restorative methods to reduce the out-of-control violence of American society instead of as a showcase of entertainment and filler for hours of mind-numbing repetition of “look was has happened,” rather than, providing problem-solving coverage of how to help our fellow citizens of this great country, now and in the immediate future. There may be less news coverage of a much higher quality. We might just all benefit from this new model.
    Lynn Weiss, Ph.D.

  3. Sandra Liao says:

    Wise Woman Read again your reply; also noticed your work on young children (from Events and Calendar link). I think it’s so valuable that parents learn how to raise the ‘possibility’ of a even-tempered (lively still) who exercise making choices early on. Then, parents themselves are the first to experience life transformation in order to surround their child in benign emotional environment. Your work catch grown up and the young. If only this continue and multiply…life touches life. I am from a Asian background and maybe I can share some later. But I think American culture has a lot of good to offer and is the best country in my opinion. In the natural world, cross-breeding often bring out better result. Hope cultural wise we also learn from one another. No man is an island; all systems benefit or even rely on other systems. Let’s do it!

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