The news has been filled with coverage of Newtown, Connecticut since yesterday morning when the world learned of the incidents that took place there. We have heard innuendo, supposition, and just-plain-incorrect information. We have seen the lengths to which the media will go in an effort to get the full story: interview anyone standing still in the town, including children; interview teachers who were not on site that day, and be sure to capture video of them receiving calls about the loss of their students; interview the parish priest, and be sure to include video of him crying; and wrap it all up in a neat video bow of the townspeople in church and at candlelight vigils. Right.
One of the most interesting comments to come out of the coverage was a comment by MSNBC reporters who mentioned that there is no more than one or two degrees of separation between all the people in Newtown–everyone has either suffered loss or knows someone who has suffered loss.
Heard of the “six degrees of separation” theory? So the idea is that we can essentially connect to anyone through a few associations. The idea put forth by the reporters covering Newtown is that we are more closely associated than that. And it is not just Newtown, it is all of us. Check LinkedIn, particularly the right-hand column, which shows how we are connected to our connections.
We are all connected to Newtown.
By less than one degree.
Many of us know someone living with a mental or emotional condition, whether we acknowledge it or not.
We also know someone who has lost a loved one through a tragic situation. While you may be thinking of that person, like me, whose dad died in a car accident and whose first husband died of a heart attack, you are connected to other people–work colleagues, church friends, those neighbors up the way–who have been touched by senseless violence.
Quit gawking and cry for Newtown.
Pray for Newtown.
Send cards or support the Facebook memorial page.
Pray for the family of the shooter; they are suffering too.
Love a little harder.