I remember loving a movie titled Serendipity. A chance encounter meets poor timing. A phone number is written in a book and put on a shelf.
A feeling state of possibility.
Serendipitous events, circumstances, situations happen all the time. I call them Synchronicities – which is actually what I thought the movie was called until I checked. Life syncs up. Ideas show up. Thoughts become things.
My experience is when you attempt to explain a synchronicity to someone else, it loses its magic. It’s enough to notice the mystical alignments and smile to yourself. I often thumbs up the universe just to add validation to the cool unfolding of life situations, circumstances, and events.
To exist is to be in a universe of oppositional forces.
Events unfold. Tragedy repeats itself.
All at once, a human collective can pause and notice the recurring pattern.
I’ll share a few considerations of next steps as it relates to selfcare and the human collective.
Notice your individual response. Perhaps a varied level or intensity of emotional discomfort. A disassociation. Blame. Anger.
For those who feel like an asshole being in the same recurring scene and want out, be open to a better way. Move toward the discomfort of your response.
In a school screener for risk of threat, exposure to violence and weapons is addressed. If the risk of threat warrants a safety plan, access to weapons is on top of the list. Remove. Not limit, not decrease. Remove.
Better outcomes? Remove access to weapons. (Support social policies that make this possible on a larger scale.)
As humans, our most primal need is a sense of safety and security. Maslow. Chakra system. Trauma response. However you think about emotional regulation and one’s sense of safety and security. One cannot do the next thing effectively or sustainably until one’s foundation is that of safety and security.
Better outcomes? Be curious about your own sense of safety and security. There is no shortage of amazing research and storytelling shared in engaging formats – podcasts/audio/video/print, by engaging authors of all backgrounds and levels of success. You can find a place to start learning. Check it off the list by reading this blog. A start.
As it relates to safety and security of schools, securing a sense of safety and security partnering with a trusted local police department is great if that’s an option where you live. Police departments throughout the country are not a comparison of apples to apples. Appreciate the relationship your school may have in a community where the partnership works. Be open to other experiences and points of view on this. All children belong in a safe environment protected by trusted and caring adults who value and continually grow in their leadership role. ‘Good and Bad’ kids is a paradigm to be disrupted. What if they’re just kids figuring shit out?
Once a general approach to safety and security of a school is met, now what?
We contribute to more of the same when adults project fear onto developing young people. Thriving schools do not propagate fear. Thriving schools promote possibility. Not for the good kids. For all kids. Go back to the paragraph on being curious about trauma and your own sense of safety and security. If this is not disrupted and soothed, it perpetuates more of the same. It’s hard. If you are one who can do it, then do it. The more the general population chills out, the better the environment is for those who have greater intensities around trauma and their emotional response.
It can seem as easy as it is difficult to minimize exposure to violence through media and play, the areas we all have choice and control. Rather than throwing away all the play guns and violent video games, consider alternatives to the violent input. And it’s not just the children’s interests. Movies. Shows. It’s everywhere. It’s input.
Better outcomes? Rather than think about all the things to stop, what can you increase or add that is an alternative to the violent input? Humor. Nature. Nonviolent forms of Art. Violent art and expression can be what one needs at the moment to meet their own pain on a path toward healing. No judgment. Make a decision supporting your growth and alignment with something more – a better way.
We have the means and resources for better outcomes. It’s too easy to make it someone else’s problem. It’s our problem. We are problem solvers and choicemakers.