On Friday, our country endured yet another tragic mass shooting. This one is even more difficult to swallow because so many young lives were ended very abruptly. As the investigation into this event continued, we learned about the heroes, the teachers who hid their students and faced the gunman to protect them. We learned the names of the young children who were killed. We watched the President be brought to tears. We discovered the shooter’s name and some of his family history, but have yet to uncover the answer to the question everyone keeps asking. Why?
Unfortunately, I don’t have that answer either. I can’t even fathom the grief, the pain, the sadness these families must endure.
All I can offer is an opportunity for peace. Community Connection has worked with Service for Peace, an organization built on the promise of peace and community development through serving together, to conduct our annual MLK Jr. Day of Service for the past three years. A component of this partnership is that we engage the Athens community in 40 Days of Peace, beginning on MLK Day. There is a peaceful act to be carried out each day, with the hope of building peaceful habits in our community.
But why do we need to wait until MLK Day to think about breeding a culture of peace? Why is it even relegated to just one 6-week section of the year. Let’s take some time, in honor of recent events and in light of the holiday season, to intentionally bring peace to our own lives and to lives of those around us. Though it will not undo the horrific acts of December 14, 2012, maybe it will begin to heal the hurt, repair the pain and bright light to our futures.
And if part of your commitment to peace includes volunteering in your community, I invite you to join us on January 21st to volunteer for MLK Day.