When Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough

by Lisa Hill

It’s Saturday night, 5 days out from the most recent mass-shooting event to top the list of Worst Mass Shootings in Recent American History, because apparently we have so many that we have a list.  This week I have felt sadness, fear, anxiety, and been generally pissed that we are once again in this familiar situation.  I have spent much of this week suppressing emotions, skipping forward in my podcasts to avoid updates, changing the subject when possible, and spending extra time at the gym with my music too loud in an effort to drown out my thoughts.  Now that I’ve made it through the workweek, I’m finally letting myself process.

Much of what I feel is sadness.  I am sad because I have seen how deep and slow healing the wounds an event like this will cause; I have seen how much this can change a community.  I attended Virginia Tech from the fall of 2010 until the spring of 2014.  I attended what I refer to as a Post April 16th Virginia Tech.  My freshman year I first began to understand the lasting effects of that day during the remembrance events that take place every April.  I ran in the 3.2 for 32 run, I held a candle at the annual vigil, and I listened to the reading of the names of the 32 Hokies who were killed.  By my senior year, I realized how the memory of April 16th wasn’t just contained to one day in April; I realized how it continues to be visible in the everyday.

It is the digital clock that is located in every classroom and public space, which can be used to display emergency messages.  It is the email that is sent out multiple times before any alarm is tested to alert campus and the surrounding community that it is just a test.  It is faculty and staff who confess to still avoiding Norris Hall.  It is the remembrance ribbon that has become so familiar I forget that most schools don’t have one.

My negativity and sadness, just like thoughts and prayers, are a natural response to these events, but they are not enough.  These events are too common and require more than thoughts and emotions, they require actions.  A loud part of my brain says, “If Sandy Hook didn’t make change, why would Las Vegas?” Thankfully, another part of me knows that change takes time and I can contribute to the years long efforts that will eventually bring about reform.

I recently learned about the 5 Calls phone app.  It provides an effortless way to learn about current political events on the federal level and connects you to your representatives.  While I advocate doing your own research and using multiple sources with varied perspectives, this app is a great starting point and eliminates the hassle of locating your representative’s contact information.  So, in an effort to turn these negative emotions into positive actions, I am spending my evening reading up and getting ready to contact my representatives.  I hope you will download the app and do the same.

Student Affairs - the First Years

Phasellus facilisis convallis metus, ut imperdiet augue auctor nec. Duis at velit id augue lobortis porta. Sed varius, enim accumsan aliquam tincidunt, tortor urna vulputate quam, eget finibus urna est in augue.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't be afraid! We love to hear from our readers!