Could The Newtown Shooting Have Been Prevented?
Thoughts of the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut come to mind every time I see a young child. The event happened on a Friday, and I cried every time I saw a child throughout the weekend. I felt sluggish, duped, hopeless, extraordinarily sad, angry, unmotivated, and at times as though I just did not want to do a thing. I could care less. Mail started to pile up, because I was choosing to do what I wanted to do, I did not want to reward a world capable of this by doing anything it seemed to demand of me. A world capable of creating such monstrous events— no thank you!
I realized that my own thoughts were delivering my experience of anger and hopelessness; knowing that helped a great deal.
There has been no natural disaster, no war, no other slaughter that has affected me like this one. Maybe partially because it happened so close to my home, but mostly because I know it had to do with the human thought process so I know it could have been prevented if more people understood how it works.
There is talk of the need for security guards in every school now; for armed principals, for bullet proof glass doors and windows, for lock-downs and closer restrictions on who can purchase guns and of course getting assault weapons out of the hands of ordinary citizens whose minds can crack at any moment. All external fixes for an internal occurrence. No one is talking about the thinking that goes on behind the scenes of any action; good, bad, or horrific. No action can take place without a motivating thought. Whatever thoughts are on a person’s mind creates the state of mind in which they live in. States of mind are created by the quality of thinking within the individual.
I can not fathom the state of mind the shooter would have to be in to bring about such a horrific outcome. It would have been awful enough if he had chosen a nursing home with people at the end of their life, but to target a first grade class; it’s unthinkable. If Alfred Hitchcock or Steven Spielberg had even come up with that idea for a movie, they would have squelched it because it would be too awful for their audiences. Too horrible even for a movie, but yet it can happen in real life.
Of course there is renewed consideration of gun control laws; but even beyond that we must work at getting everyone to know, at an early age, that horrible thoughts will come to their mind from time to time, and they alone will choose whether to act on them or not. Horrible thoughts don’t kill or harm, but actions do. Every person has the ability to choose wisely, but first they have to know it is possible for them to choose wisely.
Anne Curry, of NBC news, used her ability to create something very touching in response to the loss of innocent young lives:
It was through the same ability to think, that Adam Lanza created an atrocity. We have the freewill to choose how we use our ability to think and it’s built into every one of us to choose wisely as long as we know that is the case.
We have the resources and the people, available, to teach others about their thinking — that they have the power to choose wisely in every moment of life. They have the power to discern. It’s so simple and obvious when you hear it. We have the ability to recognize the feeling that tells us when we are off course. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes that. There has never been a better explanation that is so simple to see and understand, than the three principles of Mind, Thought and Consciousness. If only the shooter had known, this horrific outcome could have been avoided.
If the adults who knew Adam had listened to what he was really saying, they would have recognized the signs, and not have passed off his statements as “prepubescent ideas.” Talk about “blowing things up,” does not come from a high state of mind. It would have been so simple to spot if the adults had been taught to listen to the person speaking, and for the feeling beyond their words, and not just their own ideas and assumptions.
We enjoy the benefits of living in a free-will society, and of course we should, but no one learns the responsibility that goes along with the gift of freedom. We live in a culture filled with anger, hatred and violence but we don’t have to accept it as fact or as anything we want to spend our precious time on. Yet how many really know they have this choice? How many know that we can choose to feel bad and keep our minds going in the most unpleasant direction, or we can switch gears and turn in the other direction? We’re blessed with flexible minds. How many know that?
To think that this mass murder of children, at the beginning of their lives, could have been avoided, had they known how the three principles work within everyone. It’s so simple and easy to share and show others. Maybe now people will start paying attention to what comes first, what comes before the ability to have or use guns, before the creation of bullet-proof windows and the idea to hire security guards. It is the ability to create all of that, as well as symphonies, slaughters, and everything else under the sun. When will the world look in the direction toward which it all begins – the power to create within our own individual minds where we can pick and choose what creations which to pay attention.
Someday, another potentially disturbing event will be prevented because the potential perpetrator will have come to understand the relationship between his ability to think and his feelings and know not to take his negative thoughts and feelings seriously and thus, not to act on them. S/he’ll know to let it go or talk to someone about the horrible thoughts that s/he is having trouble letting go. The mother of a child who is suffering from his/her thinking would know how powerful thought is and would know that best way to protect her child is to do whatever it takes to monitor his/her thoughts and utilize whatever assistance she can obtain. She would know the danger in trying to handle it alone.
The best prevention is spreading the understanding that is available for everyone, about how their own thinking creates their life experiences, in every moment.
This is an excellent blog from my friend and colleague, Jack Pransky, Ph.D. on the School Shooting:
Please RSVP – if you would like to be part of a support group to talk about how this has affected you. I’m offering this opportunity at no cost because I know it can be very helpful to talk it out and to foster each other’s mental health and resilience.