Published Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Evil stalked the hallways of Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut last week. That evil was personified in a 20-year-old man who first killed his mother, then took her guns and went to a school where he killed 20 children and six adults, before turning one of the guns on himself and taking his own life.
It’s not our purpose here, today, to try to analyze why he committed such a horrific crime. Nor is it the purpose to argue the case for gun control, mental health care, police in schools or security.
The purpose instead is to acknowledge the grief and the suffering of these families, the community and the entire nation.
One national TV news commentator said last Friday night that there’s nothing we can do about the evil.
These 20 children — who have since been called new stars in the heavens or new angels — had their lives before them. Those earthly lives are gone, ended.
And yet, their lives and their memories will live on in Newtown, in Connecticut and throughout our nation.
Rachel Scott was a 17-year-old student who was the first murder victim of the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado in April 1999. She was active in school and church and left behind diaries and essays. She wanted to change the world through small acts of kindness.
Her father Darrell Scott and step-mother Sandy, and her brother Craig who survived the massacre, have organized and led “Rachel’s Challenge.” That youth program has been used in presentations to more than 18 million students around the country to encourage and bring positive change to young people.
In the wake of the Newtown killings, Darrell Scott said this week that at least 500 young people have told the organization they were dissuaded from committing suicide because of attending a Rachel’s Challenge program.
Who knows what may come from last week’s tragedy? No one. But, we can each decide to make a small difference in the life of another person.
Perhaps those 20 small children will be the angels’ wings that will help us do that here in Georgetown County, South Carolina.
We urge each person to do something good — today — for someone else. And then do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next …