As the world sits in wait, nestled up to TV’s, newspapers and computers for the full story of the Boston Bombers to unfold, let us not be lulled into a false sense of closure. As individuals and as a nation.
Of course, we’re relieved knowing more about the identities of this latest crop of young men gone off the deep end. We’re curious how they talked themselves into believing that blowing up innocent people was the right thing to do. We want to know how those amongst us become merciless killers — and how to protect ourselves. And, of course, we want to put the horror of this despicable act of homicidal cowardice behind us.
But let’s not be so quick to move on. To return to our comfort zones. Our work is far from done. It’s on us to do everything our power to honor those lost and injured to turn this horrible tragedy into an opportunity for deeper understanding and purposeful action, as we’re trying to do in neighboring Newtown, Connecticut.
Tying things up in a pretty little bow and moving on to the next bit of “Breaking News,” now that terrorists have been caught or killed — or after the victims have been memorialized and laid to rest, is simply not good enough. When we hide, deny, repress and run away from our raw sense of horror, outrage, grief, sorrow and fear, we miss out on opportunities for change. This is a teachable moment in our culture of violence. A time to come together and consider significant changes to the root causes of violence. These raw emotions, while uncomfortable and deeply unsettling, fuel the inspiration to turn darkness into light. Processed, and expressed in a constructive way, they inspire a call to action that could prevent further acts of terror. Let’s not be lulled into a false sense of closure just because news crews have moved on. Let’s not declare “closure” until we have actually done something to make our children, neighborhoods, communities, nation and world safer.
For some suggestions how to handle the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, see my previous post. Please subscribe to my newsletter as I’ll be writing subsequent pieces about how we can act constructively in the coming weeks, months, years. And of course, please feel free to send me your thoughts through the contact us page.
Copyright Ken Druck, Ph.D., resilience expert, speaker, consultant, and author of The Real Rules of Life (Hay House). If you like this, please share it.
Photo Credit: (Elise Amendola/AP Photo)