Helping Our Children and Teens Wrestle With Boston…

More horrific event have rocked our nation to the core.

In response to the terrorist attack in Boston, I am hearing how many Americans are feeling anger instead of fear.  In some ways, this is good as the terrorists want us to be afraid.  But, walking around angry is not going to help us.  What we need to do is focus our energy on finding ways to make our country safer.  The events that have unfolded in Texas, while most likely a horrible accident, have added to the sadness and awful sense of unease in our nation – making the attack in Boston even more difficult to comprehend.

We need to deal with the fact that the events in Boston have scared our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.  We might be angry – but lots of our kids, especially our older ones who are connected to the internet – are seeing and hearing the nightmare play out over and over again in gruesome images and videos.  I have heard from our older kids/teens and many of them are frightened.  Somehow, we need to disconnect them from the horror show that is running 24 hours a day online.  We need to talk to them about what they are feeling.  We need to remind them that we are doing everything in our power to keep them safe.  And we need to teach them that they can play a role in protecting themselves by being alert and reporting anything that seems “off”. They need to feel that they have some control in this crazy world.  I suggest that those of you with older kids visit this link to learn about the national “See Something, Say Something Campaign” and figure out ways to talk to your kids about helping us all stay safe and secure: http://www.dhs.gov/if-you-see-something-say-something-campaign

For those of us with younger children (and older ones too!), these link might be helpful:

As we struggle with more national tragedies, I know many are struggling with issues of good and evil, why bad things happen to good people and where is G-d at these moment.  I will tell you that I saw countless examples of G-d as I watched the footage and read the stories coming out of Boston.  If we somehow manage to turn our attention away from the horror and focus on the amazing stories of people selflessly giving of themselves, putting themselves in harm’s way to save the injured, donating blood after running a marathon – you will see how even in the midst of terror, there are holy sparks.  We can never stop looking for the good in this world. It is there – lifting people up at the lowest of moments.

Too often I have had to share the words of Rabbi Nahman of Bratzlav: “the world is a very narrow bridge; the essential thing is to have no fear at all.”

Remember, in order to have “no fear” as we cross this newest “narrow bridge”, we need to hold each other’s hand as we cross.  Together, we can move forward.

May those who were injured in Boston on Monday and in Texas yesterday be thoroughly healed.  May the families of those who lost loved ones

be supported and comforted.  And may the memories of those who were lost serve as blessings.

 

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