if you change nothing, nothing will change

I was going to go on with regular posts this morning, but I have to get this off of my chest. Since I’m better at writing my thoughts out than actually speaking them, a blog post felt like the best way to do it.

Like most people, as soon as I heard anything about the horror story that happened in Newtown last Friday I turned on my TV hoping for some answers. I immediately became nauseous and a horrible feeling took hold in the pit of my stomach when I heard it was an elementary school. Then I saw images of parents running from their cars, unsure if their babies (and they were all babies) were alive. That’s when the tears started.

As the day went on and the details went from unimaginable to absolutely horrific, my husband told me I had to stop. Stop watching, stop obsessing, stop being so upset when it was going to help no one. As much as I hated him at that second, he was at least partially right. Sitting in front of my computer, continually hitting refresh across a few news websites for any updates that may be rolling in was not going to change anything or make anyone feel any better.

if you change nothing, nothing will change

There are a lot of things people have been doing in the last few days that are not going to make anything better. At a time when we should be loving each other and hugging our babies until they can’t stand it anymore, we are spewing hatred at each other. Whether it’s ranting that the absence of God in schools is the problem or the President needs to be blamed or either side of the gun control debate spitting words filled with hate and blame at the other, it doesn’t matter. None of it helps.

You know what would help? Educating ourselves. Not looking for facts that specifically support our own opinions and throwing them (and a few choice words) at people who think differently than we do. But learning about countries that don’t have tragedies like this happening as often as we do. Learning about mental health issues and talking about reform all across the board.

Instead of feeding into the violence with more hatred and venom, we need to take a step back, reevaluate, and be open to the fact that our ways of thinking or specific beliefs on certain issues may be completely wrong. We need to be open to change and to new ideas.

But the hatred has to stop. It helps no one. It only hurts us all.

Art via Mobijo

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.