by Victoria Brewster, MSW
I read the following article (http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2012/12/society-honor-dead-children.html) and the first thing that came to my mind is that the events of Friday and all the other events that have occurred in the world where someone who was angry and full of hate either attacked and injured or murdered innocent people is not about gun control!
Instead, I focus on the next paragraph for the article that discusses Mental Health Care. This is the focus. Society helping society. More services for those that are suffering from either serious Mental Health issues or the episodic depression, anxiety, anger, self-loathing, low self-esteem and negative internal dialogue that is happening for so many.
We need to take a look at why so many people feel this way. I am sure our consumeristic, materialistic, gotta have the latest electronics, more money, more status seeking society is to blame. Or perhaps the unacceptance of those that have physical or developmental challenges to face every day? Intolerance of different cultures, religions and ethnicities?
We as humans need to return to a more basic lifestyle that focuses on family, friends, community- a ‘village’ type of atmosphere where neighbors actually say hi to one another, help one another and watch each others kids. The book, “It Takes a Village” by Hillary Clinton describes this kind of lifestyle.
Acceptance, compassion, empathy, tolerance and respect need to be a focus and taught to youth on a regular basis. By doing so and having these qualities become the norm, things will change…..
EQ or Emotional Intelligence should be taught in every school as part of the core curriculum with older students acting as mediators for the younger students to assist with leadership skills, the ability to identify feelings, to raise self-worth. Imagine the school environment! Teachers and educational staff along with parents also learn these skills and it becomes part of the school environment and hopefully is carried over into the home environment.
To me, youth should be the focus. If we have positive impact on their learning now, change will follow them as they grow up and go through high school, university and into their adult lives after.