With a heavy heart

Friday is now a few days past and I have been pondering what to say about the events. I know there is nothing I can say that hasn't already been said. And I considered saying nothing at all. But my heart is heavy - not only because of the Sandy Hook tragedy but also because of some recent episodes in my own family that have given me cause to reflect on the "whys" in life.

Why is anyone allowed access to assault rifles? I am not suggesting a ban on all guns but we need to look at legislation that will keep killing machines out of the hands of ordinary people.

Why are there so many people living with untreated mental illness - and why does it seem that mental illness is so much more prevalent in today's society?

Why are people so quick to anger and hatred and despair and hopelessness? Where is the break down that leads individuals to follow such desperate, often fatal, courses of action against themselves and others?

Why is there less respect for others, a lack of common courtesy and a no "think-before-speaking" mentality in our society?

Why do people set out to hurt others, whether by words or actions  - or maybe by the lack of words or actions?

The world is becoming an increasingly difficult place to be happy in for all sorts of reasons so why do some individuals delight in making it even more painful, for themselves and others?

I certainly don't know the answers to these questions. Maybe the answers lie in more government regulations or maybe in turning to a higher power. My personal belief is that the answers must be found at home, in what we teach our children and how we lead by positive example. By not allowing our children to grow up to be selfish, entitled adults, which seems to be today's norm. It's okay to say no. It's okay to set rules. And it's absolutely mandatory that we take time for our children: to listen to them, to play with them, to hug them and tell them every single day how much we love them. To teach them how to treat people with compassion, to be kind, to talk about what bothers them and to listen to others with an open, loving heart.

Many people find solace in their religion, some in their work, some in their friends and families. However you find peace, I wish that the Baby, born in a stable all those years ago, brings peace and light and joy to your life, this Christmas and always. And may He bring some small bit of comfort to those in unimaginable pain in Newtown, CT. My heart is with the nation and my Christmas wish is for answers, that we may never experience such tragedy again.