Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Victims of Virginia Tech - Silence for You

Yesterday tragedy struck our country. A young man by the name of Cho Seung-Hui took the lives of 33 people, including himself. This is by far the worst shooting of this nature in American history. Nothing can change the outcome. It is done, and the grieving process must now begin, for family, friends, and for a country left in shock and disbelief. What could have been done to prevent this?

Sad things have been happening since the beginning of time. On March 13, 1964 a young woman from NYC, named Kitty Genovese, was coming home from work in the wee hours of the morning. She was followed home and brutally attacked. Her screams were heard by many, but nobody called the police. Nobody helped. Perhaps they were afraid to get involved, thinking it was a domestic dispute. Perhaps some did not care. She died. But her life could have been saved if someone had gotten involved.

I have spent my day wondering what caused Cho Seung-Hui to do such a thing, and what could have been done differently to prevent it. I can't answer that question, but perhaps simple acts of kindness can make a huge difference. Our involvement doesn't always have to be so dramatic. Just smiling or saying hello to someone who appears to be lonely or upset might change someone's day--their entire life. Or it doesn't have to be a person visibly upset. You don't know what turmoil is going on within another being's mind.

Yes, we can make a difference. I believe, compassion is at the heart of change. That ability to put yourself in another’s shoes is all it takes to care. I’m not saying that what these men did was ok. It’s not. It was wrong. People died. But can't we learn from it? Can't we be compassionate people? We can teach our children to be compassionate and caring individuals. We must do this by example. Stop and show you care. Perhaps if we all do, another situation like this can be avoided.

"As you draw closer to your families in the coming days, I ask you to reach out to those who ache for sons and daughters who are never coming home," said President Bush today at a memorial service for the victims. I think of them and my heart aches. I can only think I understand their pain. In light of this, I am doing as many fellow bloggers will be doing. On Monday, April 30, 2007 I will not be blogging or responding to anyone else's blogs for that entire day.

The silence will not change what's happened, but is meant only to honor those who are gone and is an act of respect for the families who will bear permanent scars from the damage that's been done. My thoughts and prayers will be with them.

My inspiration for this blog comes from Mihaela Lica of eWritings - Online Public Relations. Her words have touched many today-including me.

For more information about the day of blogging silence visit Steli Efti's post "One Day Blog Silence in Honor of the Victims of Virginia Tech."

5 comments:

diogenes said...

Know why did this happen? These (and other similar heinous crimes against humanity) happen because society is disintegrating. That is because of the disregards of cherished societal, moral and religious values.

Lisa Vella said...

Diogenes,

Thank you so much for your comment. I understand fully what you are saying. It's sad how much the world has deteriorated just since I was a child - I am only 31. I hate to think of what it will be like when my children are grown up.

I believe change starts with ourselves though. Simple acts of kindness may have the ability to renew man's sense of faith in morality - every person can make a difference.

Have a wonderful day!

Lisa Vella

Mihaela Lica said...

Thank you so much, Lisa. Your kindness heals. :)

Robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin said...

Lisa,
Thanks for posting on the Virginia shootings. As the flags fly at half mast at the schools, I can't help but cry when I ponder on how bad things are. Each other is all we have in the world and we do need to share kindness and compassion in every way we can.

A Hospice volunteer that I work with has a grand-daughter at Virginia Tech. She was on our unit volunteering when she got the call about the shooting. She was hugely blessed and relieved to find that her grand-daughter was one of the ones who were safe.