The Loss of Innocence

by Michael Sheehan on December 14, 2012

in Family, General, Opinion, Parenting

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Innocence was lost today, not just in Connecticut but across the world. Our future was tragically and horrifically gunned down in yet another act of senseless violence.

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After 9/11, our nation changed. We became paranoid, more careful and we thought, safer. Today’s events prove otherwise. Violence can come from anywhere, from strangers or from people that we know. It can be directed at a nation or at an individual. Tragically, the people who are most affected are usually the innocent, the bystanders and at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the children and those people developing these young minds into our future leaders and caretakers.

As a father of three, I have seen how innocence becomes lost. My oldest daughter’s first day of pre-school was on 9/11. Today I will pull all 3 of them into my arms and tell them I love them, forever and always.

As my children have grown, they have been exposed to more violence and more tragedy. Most likely, they don’t fully understand these horrific acts. This may, in some way, be a good thing. But I don’t want them (or me for that matter) to become desensitized to tragedies like this. At the same time, I want to shield and protect them from this crazy world. Our children are our future and we as parents and caregivers are dutifully bound to ensure their safety, success and longevity.

As a society, we are failing.

And it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

We can change this.

Today we lost children…and adults helping and teaching these children how to succeed, to grow and to become responsible and caring adults. Whether we live in this Connecticut community or across the world, we have lost innocence. There is no undoing of this or any other tragic event similar to this. What we can do is love our families and friends, provide them with encouragement and support and tell them that we love them. And show this through actions. A hug, a kiss or a wink helps demonstrate that they are not alone in this world — that we all have a sense of community and caring and support and a commitment to making our society’s values stronger.

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We, as adults, will never be able to give back any lost innocence. We can, however, tighten our relationships, show our love and ensure that our children have a bright, confident future. Do something to make this happen!

HTD says: My sincerest and heartfelt sympathies go out to all affected at Sandy Hook Elementary and the community.

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