Monday, December 17, 2012

A Practical Response

 I was a bit wondrous at some of the responses to the Connecticut Shooting. It seems our initial human response is to issue a Facebook Page or a Day of Silence or to Raise Money.

But in a very practical, human level, I'm not sure what these things do. What are we raising money for? This was not a natural disaster where people are suddenly left homeless and in need of food and shelter. This was a horrific slaughtering of children, and everything that was taken is nothing we can replace with money. We cannot buy their children back.

I don't want to come across as hard or insensitive because, along with so many, I was grieved at the human depravity that could do such a thing. But I think we often busy ourselves....we fundraise or rally to get followers on a Facebook page or create the newest "Pray for Newton Connecticut" images in hopes it will go viral.

But are we being effective? Are the things we're doing to help ease our own astonishment over the situation, helpful to the actual victims? Because,I'll ask this....Are we praying? Really praying and not just say we're praying? Are we petitioning the God who is the only one who can rescue the hearts of these people? Are we lobbying for practical solutions? Are we plunging ourselves into potentially controversial issues such as "gun control" in efforts to pass laws on things that could make a change? (I am Pro gun/Carry Conceal so that there's no confusion. This is an article as to why.) Are we helping in practical ways that might require more of us?

Because at the end of the day, no money we raise or jpgs we generate and no silence we give, can change what happened.

This post is in no way meant to downplay the heart and intentions of others. Because one quick scroll on my Twitter feed last Friday showed me what a sensitive and loving world the blogosphere is. Against such a tragedy, I just want to see America rise in truly practical ways. I want us to stop being "busy" or "silent" and contemplate real ways we can help or prevent repeats of this scenario.

This was definitely one of those "should I hit publish" posts for me but, at the end of the day, this is my heart on the subject. It is grieving for these families that have lost more than we can imagine and more than ever, I am looking for real ways to help. 

XO, A

27 comments:

Jess @ Pretty Physicist said...

A-frickin-men. Exactly how I'm feeling about this ... And I'm glad you hit post!

Faith said...

And who would have thunk it, I completely agree with you ;)

Sara Louise said...

I'm very happy that you hit publish. Your honesty is heartfelt and is something that we should all think about x

Katie said...

Thank you for posting this! We get so caught up in the trendy responses that we forget what really makes a difference and that the point if all of this is to move- not raise or be still- but to move so this doesn't happen again and again! Love this Ashley.

Candace said...

Amen.

P!nky said...

AMEN!

I'm so with you!!!!

I have a snippet regarding a silence post today too.

We should be putting the victim's names out there, and speaking them out loud. and praying about them outloud or silently.

A blog button does nothing.

Money can help for grief counselors and the cost of funerals, but in the end, prayer works wonders!

Im pro gun rights too, but there should be some stronger regulations regarding mental health.

I LOVE YOU SMASHTASTIC, I'm glad you posted!

Kate said...

I'm so glad you published this post and it was VERY well written and straight from the heart. I understand why people want to raise money or create a day of silence... I understand their intentions fully.... but I'm with you on this one. I sure hope you get a lot of page views on this post b/c it might challenge some to think outside the box. Thank you for putting into words what I could not :)

Katie said...

i agree. it makes me sad because I think for a week or so people will pray for them and think of them and then life goes on. and people forget, except not the people going through it. BUT I do think that doing those things, help people feel useful and like they are doing something to help, which I do think it meant well most of the time.

Sami said...

I completely agree with you Ash! I think the intentions of everyone are true and good, but not blogging is not going to help anyone. I was saying that we should send Christmas cards and hand written letters to the families. Anything we can do to comfort them you know?

Meghan @ Shine On said...

One word: amen. Thanks for posting this, Ashley!!

Samantha said...

Thank you for publishing.... I agree something needs to be done! People need to be more aware of the mental health problems... I don't think this boy wanted the glory of this... he had something wrong! I posted a letter about what his mother must have felt.. it's a problem everywhere. I am not sure how I feel about gun control. I don't understand the laws enough ... i do know learning in my training that one indicator that a person like that will act out his plan is access to means (i.e. access to guns) ... so that always teeters in my mind. Anyways I think I said enough.. thanks for posting again :)

Carolyn R said...

I SO agree with this!!! Thanks for posting!!

Sarah Burton said...

Amen girl. This is so good and refreshing. And judging from the other comments...I'd say most people agree with you. Thanks for having the courage to post!

Shannon said...

Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.

I couldn't agree more. I don't understand the point of the silence or the facebook pages.

There are so many deeper, more effective things that can be done (including prayer) beyond choosing not to hit publish on a specific day.

Thank you, Ashely. Thank you.

Lindsay said...

Great post Ashley! This Sunday I got to hear Bob Goff (author of Love Does) speak at church and the theme was "do things". Here is a snippet about Love Does.. "For anyone who’s wanted to change the world but thought they needed money, a committee, and permission to get started, Love Does shows what can happen when you decide to do instead of plan, act instead of strategize, and fiercely, invisibly fight for the possibility God has gifted you to uniquely see."
He was amazingly inspiring and it was a great reminder that everyday we should be striving to "do" more!

Katie said...

I could not agree more. You said exactly what I have been thinking the past few days. Thank you for writing this!

Emily grapes said...

Could not agree with you more! I get confused when everyone jumps on the day of silence bandwagon..it always makes me ask why they're doing it. And 9 out of 10 times, I believe its for themselves not the victims. So everyone sees their self righteousness for doing it.

Not to say that's why you're talking about it, but I'm so glad you hit publish on this!

Young and Fabulous said...

perfectly said

I LOVE YOU ASHLEY <3

xoxoxo

Shug in Boots {Beth} said...

THIS IS EXACTLY IT! May I share on my blog with credit to you?

Catie said...

I completely agree, Ashley. Thanks for sharing!

Shug in Boots {Beth} said...

okay, you totally inspired me! i felt so compelled to write after reading your post ... i got a little long winded, but here it is if you get a chance ...
http://shuginboots.blogspot.com/2012/12/sandy-hook-what-can-we-really-do.html

thanks for posting! thanks! thanks! thanks! :)

Rach @ This Italian Family said...

Oh girl, I am so with you here. I think it makes people feel as if they are being helpful when the "like" that page on FB or retweet the catchy slogan or pin the "praying for" pin. But like you said, are we REALLY praying for the families? I appreciate your honesty here, friend. Thanks for sharing your heart.

Elise said...

Agreed, agreed, agreed. I have been trying to think about how to put those same exact thoughts into words and you did it perfectly.

I definitely think intentions are great and their hearts are in the right place with the day of silence and donating, but yeah, it's not a natural disaster.

Love this post.

So Shay said...

Amen. Amen. Amen.

<3

meghan said...

I have to say that I agree with you. I did participate in a day of silence yesterday and shared a few of my thoughts, but in general I really have wondered what the money is going to go to...I think in a sense it is so that we are able to "do something", as that is one of the things that I have had a hard time with is that there's nothing we can do. I'm glad you published the post; I think it's a good one.

Christa said...

My sentiments exactly. Everyone is trying to find a scapegoat (media, guns, lack of God in schools), but you know what? We will probably never know what sort of depravity drove this man to end the lives of 27 precious souls. No amount of money we raise or blog posts we dont publish will bring their children, brothers, sister, sons, daughters, mothers back. Send letters of condolence to the families/school. The reason things like this happen is because we are "silent". Silent about gun control. Silent about the stranglehold the media has on this country. You dont come off as insensitive at all. you come across as real. enlightened. Knowledgable. Passionate. Dont feel bad for this post. There should be more like it.

Angel said...

love this post and i totally agree. there's no way "gun control" will stop a terrorist, mental person, or man slaughterer. and people always get caught up in saying they're "raising awareness" but obviously the world already knows about tragedies like this. fox news has it covered and fb pages won't do anything for the suffering families.
i love your genuine attitude in this post! love you and can't wait to see you:)