The horrific events that played out in Tucson this past Saturday have given us all an opportunity to ponder, reflect and question. After the initial shock I truly wondered, “What good can come of this?” As I watched the news and read the papers in the ensuing days, I was saddened by the finger pointing, inflammatory comments and defensive actions. Again, I wondered how we could turn this tragedy into goodness. That’s why I made sure I tuned into President Obama’s speech last night that he delivered from the University of Arizona campus. I think we all needed help understanding and making sense of all of this. Whether you agree with his policies or not does not matter to me. What matters is that he is hopeful and eloquent and he gracefully helped me see with new eyes. For that, I am very grateful. I was especially touched by his last couple of paragraphs:
“Our task, working together is to constantly widen the circle of our concern and that we bequeath ‘The American Dream’ to future generations. I believe that we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here…they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another…that’s entirely up to us. And I believe that for all of our imperfections we are full of decency and goodness and that the forces that divide us aren’t as strong as those that unite us. That’s what I believe, in part because that’s what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed…..
She saw…through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often take for granted. I want to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. I want America to be as good as she imagined it. All of us. We should do everything we can to make sure that this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”
Wow. That seems like a daunting task. I was almost overwhelmed by this charge. What can I do to make children believe in goodness?
But, then I remembered a newspaper article that Noel drew my attention to the other day. It was about a school in Missoula that set out on a little mission. They dressed their three and four-year-olds in capes adorned with hearts. And in each child’s hand was a handmade paper flower. They took them to an assisted living center and gave them away to the residents. They call their children “Superheroes of Kindness.” These babies spread good cheer to others.
|Click here to read the article|
And instantly, I knew what small thing I will do. I will help save mankind by sewing more superhero capes so that any child I encounter will have the opportunity to join this special band of kindness makers. I believe that this could become contagious. I see children, guided by their parents, spreading cheer and happiness and love the way only a trusting and innocent child can. And perhaps, through it all, we will not show the next generation how great America is, but instead we will be saved from the cynicism and derision and doubt by our lovely children.