Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Not My Holiday Gift Guide

Today I was going to post my holiday gift guide. The one in which I would remind you all about the books I've written and the coaching programs I offer that make great holiday gifts and how buying from people like me supports small business. But I couldn't bring myself to hit publish. It felt too soon to go back to business as usual. At least not publicly. Not after Friday. Not just yet.

I've been quiet since then. I haven't been doing much of my usual social media thing. But I have been reading and watching. I obsessed with CNN's coverage for much of Saturday. I'm like an addict when these tragedies occur. I find myself unable to press the off button on the remote or even to change the channel. I shed tears for children and adults I never met.  I felt the collective anguish of so many others. I tried to make sense of something that will never make sense. And it was only when I realized I had seen the same interview three times that I managed to pull myself away from one medium and move myself to another.

I read the Facebook posts and the Twitter feeds. People weighing in on their sorrow and their feelings about gun control and how we deal with mental illness in our society. But I continued to refrain from posts of my own.

Not that I don't have a lot to say about gun control and mental illness. Or about some of the outlandishly insensitive statements made by the many who did choose to make their feelings known.

I was simply unable to find any words that seemed adequate. I still can't.

I cannot begin to fathom what those children and adults who were murdered went through in their final moments, nor those who witnessed it. No amount of empathy can come close to replicating the emotions of the parents and families who have lost their loved ones to horror and need to now try to figure out how to move on. 

What is easier for me to articulate is that I am struck, once again, by our inability to stop and pause, to take in the enormity of a situation like this and to demonstrate a modicum of sensitivity. To be quiet. 

Instead we fill the band waves with endless conversation and posturing about what needs to be done and what should be done to prevent this in the future. 

We don't stop. We don't pause. We don't allow ourselves to feel the magnitude of such a tragedy. We spew whatever we feel like the next day on the social network of our choice. We vent our rage, our disbelief. Some just ignore and before taking a breath are once again tweeting pictures of the Christmas cookies they just baked, offering up the ten reasons to dump your man or how to have a "killer book signing." To say I found that offensive and insensitive is simply an understatement.

Which is why it felt too uncomfortable for me to hit publish on the cheery holiday gift guide post I had ready to go without acknowledging what happened in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday.

Not that I don't want you to buy my wares. I do. I have a business and a living to earn, but I did need to press pause and reflect. At least for one more day. It seemed the right thing to do.

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