Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland, and the list goes on. And unfortunately the list goes on. We say never again, and yet just weeks ago we witnessed another tragic loss of life. Each time the typical response from our elected officials is "Thoughts and Prayers" or it isn't time to talk about guns, or it's a mental health issue. Each time the difficult conversation that would lead to change never happens.
This time a group of young people have said enough is enough. They have begun to mobilize and call for action, no they have begun to demand action. Unfortunately, some who are afraid of engaging in the conversation attack these students instead of hearing them and try to change the narrative or distract us from solving the problem.
I am seeing a different response to school violence than I have seen in the past. Maybe, hopefully we engage in conversation that results in real action, real change and ends school violence. I have children of my own and knowing they have to do ALICE and active shooter drills. That they have to think about what they would do in those situations, or hearing people talk about adding more guns to schools, Tonight I want to engage in conversation about what we can do to prevent these events from happening. How many children have to lose their lives before we say enough?
In case you missed it, the Winter Olympics has been showcasing the best athletes in the world. I am a huge fan of the Winter Olympics because of the unique events. I mean you have a huge range of events, most I can't do. I tried downhill skiing once and left with a badly sprained ankle. #neveragain And the halfpipe where they contort themselves and complete insane tricks is even more amazing as it calls for not just ability but a little insanity that you would fly out of a halfpipe of snow that is 22 feet high and propel yourself another 14-17 feet higher revolving and flipping before coming landing on a curved wall of the pipe to do it another 5 times before your run is done. Then there are all the games on ice. Well most of them are again mind boggling to me. Ice skating, speed skating and hockey take talent to be able to run and jump while on the ice. It is inspiring to watch the figure skaters leap in the air, much like the snow boarders flying through the air with reckless abandon.
The one event that I could remotely have a chance at participating it is Curling. I have gone curling. And while I only did it once, I didn't leave with any injuries. I don't want to portray curling as easy, as my experience demonstrated to me that there is a lot of skill involved. However seeing people of all ages participate in curling provides hope that this could be an activity that I do participate in for years. While I don't have delusions of grandeur that I would be an Olympic athlete, I love the fact that the winter Olympics has such a variety of events that inspire people to get up and move even when temperatures fall.
One great example of this was the Men's Cross Country event where one of the athlete's fell down after getting tangled with a group in the front of the race only 150 meters into the race. He fell, was hit in the head and had another athlete fall on top of him. This athlete upon getting back on his feet found himself at the end of the pack, in last place. The question for him at this point is what to do next? He could have given up. I am sure he was hurting from the blow to the head and the rest of the fall. He could have given into the pain and disappointment. He didn't chose to give up, instead he decided that he came to the Olympics to do his best. As the race went on the announcers discussed the leaders, strategy, and the back and forth action of the lead group trading places in the front. The race continued with little notice of the racers who fell so long ago. It wasn't until the final leg of the race that this determined individual was able to catch the lead pack. Then incredibly he was able to move up to the front of the pack, but even more amazing was that he broke away from the pack and was able to win by a sizable margin.
The Olympics has been an inspiration experience for me and the basis of this week's chat.
Check out the questions here.