Editorial: Our change is coming from within

Dec. 17, 2012 @ 08:20 PM

In the aftermath of Friday’s elementary school shooting, we’re hearing the correct questions, few answers and a number of pledges.

Our hope and prayers are fulfillment rather than hollowed dreams.

Sadly, we’ve heard it before and as we said in this space after a theater shooting in August, we’re likely to hear it again.

Whether it is our president or any other elected leader telling us they’ll do everything in their power to help stop the killing and violence, we have to realize that the first steps won’t come from government. The first steps won’t come from focus and study groups. The first steps won’t come from our churches. The first steps won’t come from any specific group at all.

The first step will come from each of us. It will come from how we choose to live our lives, the impact we make on others and what we choose to want as a society.

Yes, laws and therefore government can influence. But history confirms, laws don’t stop people from doing bad things. People stop people.

In our society, the “new thing” gets outdated quickly. And society thrusts forward, whether it be social media, children learning parts of education sooner, or trying to figure a way for everybody to have everything.

Better is best, and we make no excuses. We won’t stand for status quo, being left behind or doing without.

In return, our society changes. How it changes can be impacted by where each of us put our levels of expectation. We have gone with the crowd in too many cases, felt we’d impede others’ rights in other instances, and simply not thought through the big picture in still others.

Elected leaders are correct in assessing we don’t have to tolerate what happened Friday to 20 innocent schoolchildren, six adults and a mother and son. We should always examine how children are being raised and their environments.

But laws won’t ensure change. The change happens when enough of us as individuals in society look at ourselves, dedicate and move our actions to a better society and see others doing the same.

Until that time comes, we pray God to have mercy on us all.