December 18th, 2012
Writing a blog like Cupcakes and Cashmere has its perks. I get to photograph and write about things I love – fashion, food, entertaining, interior design. Oh, and cats (though I try to keep that to a minimum). In a sense, these topics are trivial. I’m not delving into hard-hitting news or solving any world problems. But when I hear that I’ve inspired someone – a young girl battling cancer or someone in the midst of a break-up? It makes me believe that even the simplest of things can resonate in a much bigger way.
It can be a challenge to figure out exactly what to share on my site. I want people’s experience here to be rewarding – light, fun, and a nice break from their day-to-day lives. But I also don’t want it to ever seem like I’m sugar coating things as a way to distract myself or my readers from reality. The shooting that took place this past Friday in Newtown, Connecticut rocked me to my core. I spent nearly every free minute on my couch, attached to my phone, desperate for answers that, of course, never came.
After a weekend spent immersed in the news, I wanted this site to be a welcomed relief come Monday morning. I blogged about an outfit I wore last week, and cookies that I had baked. But it’s also important to reflect. To be grateful for what we have and to think about how to move forward after such a tragedy. I read a lot of articles about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, but none that moved me as much as what my friend, Jeremy Davidson, wrote last week:
I can think about the school shooting only in small doses. Really painful. My first year in the classroom—and for many hours since as a learning specialist—was in Kindergarten. If you only knew what it’s like to be with Kindergarteners day in and day out, and to be tapped into their sheer wonder and delight for everything around them in school—a safe, fun place to learn and play—you’d know the profound sadness and empathy I feel for them, their peers, their families, and their community. Whatever the weapon, whatever the profile of the murderer, the parallel tragedy here is that we are faced with the reality that we live in a society that markets, sells, profits from, and glorifies violence—heavily to children!—at the expense of so many other human behaviors that aren’t valued (read: monetized) or taught enough in living rooms, classrooms, board rooms: empathy, kindness, understanding, friendship, citizenship. Instead, we live in a society where greed and fear have taken over. There is no quick answer here. It’s not just gun control. Or mental health. It’s the entire ecology. Until we embrace that ecology and examine the values that are endangered, rather than simply blame this or that variable, today’s and tomorrow’s children don’t have a hell of a lot to look forward to. What a disgrace.
For those looking to offer assistance to those who were affected, I found this article to be particularly helpful.