These tragedies affect me pretty harshly. I am a mom, an aunt, a teacher. I love children, yes, but I also love humanity. So when things like this happen (especially so very close to home. i.e.- Aurora), it affects me to my core. I so want to see the good in people. Especially in children. And let's face it, it seems the young are doing these evil deeds...students...young men.
Because of this, people are doubting the humanity of our boys, our young men.
So let me give you hope. Let me tell you that there is great humanity in our children. I see my students do remarkable things everyday. Kind things, brave things, brilliant things. And a majority of my students do not have a home life most of you take for granted. Most of them have to work all night, go to school all day, take little siblings to practice or the doctor or the park. I see them give hugs when a friend is sad. I see them run to the counselor when a friend is upset. I see them ask for help for a friend that feels that they can't go on. I see them come in everyday with a smile when I know they are hungry or sick or mad or tired from being in the ER with their dying (or mentally ill parent.) They are strong, and they really care about you and me. Just look at my desk with cards, and candy, and homemade goodies...from boys...for the librarian!
During the election students where adamant about their views and opinions about policy...EVEN WHEN THEY COULDN'T VOTE. When Hurricane Sandy hit, they volunteered money and donated items. When Haiti was devastated students rallied together to raise money (without any motivation from teachers). They wore green and white on Monday, they donate cans of food, sell bracelets to help 3rd world children...on and on and on. When is the last time you gathered your friends to raise money for anyone?
Still don't believe in our future leaders? Just ask me about my nephews. My sweet, brave, talented, kind nephews. They are so talented and loving. I am in awe of them. When tragedy strikes (and for some reason my nephews have seen great great tragedy in their young lives) they persevere and get even stronger, and kinder. And the way they all love and take care of their family and mothers. And their faith...oh their hope and faith. It would bring you to your knees.
Our children are good, strong, brilliant children. Our boys are resilient. Even though all of my nephews and son play video games with guns and read books about zombies they are kind, and good, and I would trust them with anything.
Don't give up on them, help them, love them, support them, above all believe in them. They believe in us, even when they shouldn't.