Now is the Not the Time

Christine L. Peterson, CPP, ISP News

No one can be untouched by the events that took place in Newtown, Connecticut, that will forever be engraved in our minds and in our hearts. The word that has come to me over and over is stunned. Stunned by the loss of innocence that each one of the 20 little children represents. Stunned by the loss of six devoted educators who showed us a level of courage and dedication beyond words. Stunned by the actions of a young man who committed these premeditated and unconscionable acts for reasons that will never be understood by the human mind. Stunned by the loss we all feel and know that pales in comparison to this community and the families that have been directly affected by this tragedy. Stunned by the grief and frustration that we all feel about events that should have been avoidable but were not avoided. At the same time, we must also find room for the gratitude that we feel for the children, faculty, and staff who survived. Gratitude for the planning and training done prior to the event that led to actions that saved lives. Gratitude for the first responders who saved lives with their courage, training, and quick response. Gratitude for the school administrators and therapists who have and will continue to support this community who must find the strength to live in a world that will never be the same again.

Over the coming weeks there will be plenty of time to review and analyze the events to uncover the lessons learned that we can use to make our communities and businesses safer and more secure. Lessons like the ones we have learned in other events have seemed equally unfathomable, but when we look back, we know that those lessons saved lives last Friday. Right now is not the time.

Right now our focus must remain on compassion, support, and prayer for all the innocent victims, their families, and their community – which includes all of us. We must also have compassion, support, and prayer for the family and community who mourn the death of two members of the Lanza family who must be grieving on so many levels and who are left to search within themselves for any warning signs or clues that they might have missed.

As many communities prepare to celebrate Christmas, let’s all take the time to hug those people closest to us. To remember to say I love you and thank you more. And finally, let’s commit ourselves to spending some quality time talking to each other face to face and not electronic device to electronic device. Life is precious and too short to waste.

Plan. Protect. Prosper.

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