Making Sense of the World

how to be 5

As mothers, and as human beings, we are heartbroken by the tragic events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. Words seem insignificant in the wake of such pain and yet words connect us and help us make sense of the world. Shannon wrote about her experience of finding her way through the sadness and anger as a mother. We hope others will contribute their perspectives---whether on dealing with the events personally, talking to their children about them, or grappling with topics of political and social significance.

We believe we understand each other better as human beings when we're exposed to different viewpoints and we take the time to consider them from a place of mutual respect. In the rush to say something, to make sense of tragedy, and to find our power following a situation that made us all feel helpless, it's all too easy to channel our anger into grand pronouncements that further alienate us from each other. Together, we can be thoughtful and purposeful about finding ways to make this world safer and kinder. Let's treat each other gently while we do that---we're united in our fragility; it's what makes this lifetime so special.

To help, you can make a donation to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, which is providing support services to the families and community. If you're looking for guidance on how to speak with your children, check out Save the Children's 10 Tips to Help Your Child Cope With a Crisis and the National Mental Health and Education Center's tips for Talking to Children about Violence (both contain suggestions that can also be applied to ourselves as adults).