The story of a nine year old boy being lured into an alley to be shot to death shattered my heart. The fact that it was gang related makes no difference to me; nine year old boys should not be afraid of being shot in an alley. This is a fear my children will never know. There are rarely any shootings in our Chicago suburb. My children won’t be lured into an alley; their father (or mother) are not gang bangers. I am not afraid of stray bullets flying through my living room.
How can I help prevent these violent crimes? I could vote for stricter gun laws, which I am inclined to do, but many of the guns in these crimes are obtained illegally. I could vote for politicians who will be tough on crime, but I’m only allowed to vote for Cook County politicians, not City of Chicago politicians. What, then, can I do to help bring peace to our city?
The shootings in Chicago are out of control, but violence doesn’t require a gun. Nor does violence only happen in urban areas. When I was teaching in a small rural town, a young teacher didn’t show up for work one day. She hadn’t called for a substitute and didn’t answer the phone. The principal drove out to her farmhouse and discovered something simply horrifyingly. My colleague had been strangled with a telephone cord, presumably by someone she knew.
I just don’t know the answers. I wish I did. What can I do?
Well, I can continue to do what I’m doing. I can give my students a hug or high-5 when they walk into the classroom. I can help them feel safe when they are at school. I can teach my preschoolers to be kind to each other; to share; to not hit; and when something happens, to say, “I’m sorry.” I can help start them on the right path.
Even the mayor of Chicago must have (belatedly) remembered what he learned as a child. When you do something wrong, you need to apologize.
Will peace ever come to Chicago? I’m not sure it can. But here’s something else I can do; I can hope.
Join us for the month of December with these #SpinCycle writing prompts. Be sure to add the Spin Cycle button to your blog post to tell others about the Spin Cycle!
Week of Dec. 7-11 : Peace
Week of Dec 14-18 : Joy
Week of Dec. 21-25 : Love
Week of Dec. 28-Jan. 1: New