To be at my best for a better world

Should I write about the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary, Connecticut this past weekend?

I’ve been circling it around in my mind.

My thoughts on gun control, what can we learn from this, how can I help, an outpouring of rage and grief,  tears that prick my eyes each time I look at Kalyra and I feel as if I’ve been stabbed.

That could have been my baby.

That could have been me protecting my students backed into a corner in an elementary school.

God knows I did it enough during lock down drills when I taught in America. I felt fear then, especially when the fake intruder would rattle the door and I’d tell my students to remain quiet and calm, that they would be safe. Fear would pass their eyes, knowing that it was a fake run through, but knowing one day it could be true.

It is frightening the world we offer our children. They are innocent babies, we are grown-ups. We should know better, we should be giving them better.

I’m avoiding the news; I’m avoiding mentioning that- I don’t even have words to label such a cowardly monster.

I want to carry the pain of those parents who lost their babies. I still have my babies, so I wish I could take their pain for them.

What are we doing? What are we creating? The world is fucking crazy, yet it is so beautiful at the same time.

What are we doing to let the craziness exist in such a way? We allow evil too much into our lives via media and macabre movies.

I’m devastated that the arguments are springing up everywhere around gun control and people are standing up for their rights to bear arms- a killing machine- more than the right to protect the lives of our babies.

Remove your hate and your fears and be better for our children. If we all dedicated our lives to finding peace and happiness in our own hearts their would be no need for guns and society would be beautiful.

My mind keeps flashing back to the moment when if a gun was present, myself and six other people would have been dead. The knife that was wielded in a moment of blind anger and uncontrolled madness was controlled and taken down. A bullet can’t be.

I’m trying to control the anger, I’m fighting to forget, and I’m working to not argue but to just be better.

All I want is the world to be better.

I started this post not knowing what to write or even wanting to talk about it because I’m not sure how it will help.

I know what will help and it is as Obama said,

“Our community needs everyone to be at their best.”

Everyone. Every single person needs to take control of who they are, their life circumstances and their happiness. It is no one’s fault if you are unhappy. It is yours.

You can fix it.

Be the change you wish to see in the world

Be my best

We are the ones who control our destiny and our life path. Everyone is powerful beyond measure.

It is time for everyone to take that power and responsibility back instead of trying to take it from others and wreak havoc.

We’ve all played a part in this madness somehow. By being bitter, mean, judgemental, harbouring ill-feelings and silent satisfactions of revenge. We allow ourselves to be embroiled in the madness by watching the violent films, allowing the news to infiltrate our lounge rooms, talking about war and violence as casually as you would as to what’s for dinner,  and for teaching our children to be fearful of everyone and everything and that they need to tear down in order to lift up.

The world is far far better than this. Our children deserve to experience the beauty of it and we need to stop taking it away from them. Taking it away with our drugs to hide the pain, the food that sickens, the weapons that destroy, and the words that hurt.

If anything good comes out of this may it be that each person starts to be better. Let the lives of those little babies, who walked into school that day with a smile in their heart and a curious desire to learn how magical the word is, be worth something.

Let them teach us to be better for those we still have responsibility for.

Please help carry the pain a little for those grieving parents, by spreading kindness and creating a better world.

Make kind thoughts, kind words, and kind deeds the focus of your life and a daily practice.

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  • Kathy

    Hi Caz – very powerful. A lot is being written about this unbelievable tragedy. Its hard to know what words to add to all the tears, to make things better. Your simple message that we must BE better, be our BEST, echoing Obama’s passionate words is really all that needs to be said and what we sooo need to DO. That and hug our loved ones and each other.


    • Caz Makepeace

      Thanks Kathy. I love how Obama always brings it back to being better for the greater good. We have to start thinking beyond ourselves now. How can I make choices that positively affect the world?


  • Johanna at ZigaZag

    A heart wrenching post, one that needed to be written and you’ve done it so well urging us all to be better, to realise that we are powerful beyond measure and to use that power only for good. These terrible senseless events make me question everything, and like you say the problem which this cruel and tragic event highlights goes way beyond gun control.
    As ever, my thoughts are with those parents.


    • Caz Makepeace

      I can’t even bear to think about how those parents can even raise themselves from their bed of a day. I don’t think I could. He has effected the lives of so many people. It is so horrible. I think it really does make you question and you have to stop and look at how we can each make our crazy world better. It has to be, our children deserve it.


  • Jeremy Branham

    Honestly, pisses me off to see what happened there. I don’t condone violence at all but I understand getting angry at your parents, friends, etc – even mad enough to want to kill someone. How anyone could EVER kill a CHILD in cold blood is beyond me. I can’t even fathom it.

    There is a special place in Hell right now for that guy. However, the media is to blame for a lot of this. More importantly, WE are to blame for this. A long time ago, we pursued life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and material goods while leaving loved ones far behind. We’ve failed to love one another and have helped create the monsters that are killing these kids and people.


    • Caz Makepeace

      100% agree with this Jeremy! I can usually find a small place of compassion for most people but for someone like this person to do this to kids I am empty of any kind of emotion.

      I think so many people around the world have been affected by this, I just hope that means each person stops to look at themselves and how they can make a change. If we all did our own one small part to be more loving and kind the ripple effect would be ginormous. And everyone needs to ban the media from their living rooms (except maybe sport!)


  • Ian [EagerExistence]

    Some great words Caz… if the rest of us do what we can to promote positive change, and “being the best you can be”, it may inspire others …a butterfly effect (; but not everyone has the strength to be at their best, these people need our help too.

    Did you see the Morgan Freeman meme on Facebook about this? Some good points in that argument (unknown if Morgan was actually the source). Everyone is talking about “gun control”, when they should perhaps be looking closer at mental health and what motivates someone into committing such an act.

    Personally I don’t watch the news or read the paper. All the sensationalist media and negativity gets me down. I’ve travelled during revolutions and unrest, and those people still find the good in their day, even with so much going on. They still treat me with respect, and greet me with a smile, they open up their homes and their hearts and act as an ambassador for their country… because their governments aren’t doing it for them.

    But mass-media isn’t interested in seeing the good; atrocities get tongues wagging.


    • Caz Makepeace

      Love this comment Ian! Thank you for sharing.

      I did see that meme and it was spot on. I was really confused though because a few weeks ago we heard on the radio that Morgan Freeman died!!! Obviously someone got their facts wrong that day.

      It is so sad that we are a society that prefers to hear bad news rather than good. I’m always surprised when people give me stick for watching shoes like X Factor and The Voice. I prefer these types of shows to news and Criminal Minds, because it shows the stories of people who are following their dreams and overcoming obstacles to make it happen. That is the stuff we should all be watching to inflame our own fires.


    • Jeremy Branham

      I am with Ian on this. This is not about gun control. A Chinese man with a knife attacked over 20 kids recently. Where there’s a will, there’s way. And I say this as someone who has absolutely ZERO interest in guns.

      I would love to ban all media from listing the name of the person who commits these heinous crimes. However, 1st amendment rights won’t let that happen. But if people stop getting attention for it, maybe people will stop doing it.

      I don’t watch the news and watch very little TV. However, my news does come from the internet.

      In the end, I think our two biggest issues are media and mental health. More importantly, our biggest problem is a failure as a society to love one another and take care of our own. People are feeling neglected and unloved by family and friends. While not all of that is the fault of those people, I think it points to a fundamental problem in our society – our priorities in life are messed up.


      • Caz Makepeace

        I completely agree that the issue lies with mental health and we need to be putting efforts into solutions and help for this. Everything always comes back to the cause, which must be dealt with. However, stricter measures must be in place so people who are so mentally unbalanced cannot get access to weapons like this. When people are mentally sick or struggle to control fits of rage, it is too easy to grab a gun and fire it off without thinking or self-control. From the moment of rage to the firing of the trigger is a millisecond. There is no space for common sense to enter and prevent your madness and there is no room for others to step in and try to stop it. You can with other ways. Yes, people can still be killed or injured but the scale and damage will be much less.
        We had a massacre in Australia in 94, where 34 people were killed. Strict gun control measures were swiftly put into place and it has never happened since. I heard a statement made by someone the other day which made sense, if the guns aren’t the issues then it would be fair for WalMart to start selling bombs and hand grenades. We know that would be a stupid decision because the wrong people can get their hands on it too easily and wreak havoc so we have laws in place to protect the people. It is exactly the same.

        I do 100% agree that the deeper causes must always be dealt with. I am very much a let’s fix the cause person rather than the deal with the symptoms. But we have to protect others in the meantime.

        And absolutely our priorities are messed up. It’s the dawn of the new era on Friday. Let’s hope this means we are all going to start changing that


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