Unlike many, I have to say, I actually enjoyed my high school years. Admittedly, though, maybe a little more than my grammar and middle school years where I did experience a little taunting and teasing from other children. My high school stint was an adventurous time of discovery, yet uneventful aside from a bit of a struggle with algebra. It was a time that, if for some reason only known to God, I had to do again, I’d do it. Of course, I’d wonder why, but I’d do it, especially if I knew it’d turn out the same or better. My freshmen and sophomore years were filled, first and foremost, with studies. We had several chaperoned school dances. One dance that particularly stands out to me still today is the one that was based in the 1950’s, and I attended dressed in a white poodle skirt and bobby-socks from that era. My junior and senior proms were a wholesome blast. My best friend, with whom I’m still friends with today more than 30 years later was a band member, and so I remember going to many sports games at which she played music with the band. It was, for me a very exciting and exploratory time in my life. I never went to school feeling unsafe. I never went to school wondering if I would make it home. I never went to school thinking of ways I could dodge a bullet, rather than a ball in Phys. Ed.
It raises in me feelings of both ache and admiration for the children we see today standing up and, mostly peacefully, fighting to deservingly experience a time in school similar to mine. From the mouths of these babes, comes a valid cry for a society in which the dangers of guns are no longer a daily haunting threat. Their cry for safety isn’t selfish. Their righteous indignation isn’t childish. Their shout for change isn’t unrealistic. It’s human survival at the most basic level. Do we ignore them because they are young? Are we supposed to placate them with what doesn’t actually help, simply to “appear” attentive? Or, is it just a hope they’ll get bored with the effort and seek something else to do to occupy their time? I think too often the voices of children aren’t heard, when in fact many have an unadulterated view of how things can truly be. For, it was once mentioned by Jesus, that out of the mouth of babes comes perfected praise. He also mentioned the importance of having childlike faith so to be able to live a life of goodness, peace, and joy.
As children, most receive parental or guardian provision & protection. And, in healthy environments, they grow into their own healthy personal power. Thus, these are areas that most children don’t need to worry about in that they don’t need to explicitly seek to achieve these things for themselves. That is… unless there’s a severe deficit somewhere in which they reach for guns because they need to feel safe, to increase resources, and/or because they feel insignificant, or powerless. Considering the dire need for their right to attend school again in a mood that is festive and not fearful, there’s something we can learn from these children, as we take time to reflect on their request. How would granting them, what they so admirably strive for, a shift of faith that would remove unnecessary dependency so commonly placed on guns?
Ponder on what society can be if, those who felt a passion to create or sell them, only offer their creativity in the arts of artillery strictly to law enforcement and the military. Perhaps it could spur civilians to seek and find the protection and security, they feel guns give them, in a way that renders serenity for all. In order for anyone to feel a sense of significance, they need to be heard. Thus, maybe, something as simple as listening to the voices, of those who feel that just a display of a gun speaks the loudest, can increase their belief that they truly do have some say in the world. Additionally, if we, sincerely listen to these children’s cry, and approach acting on what we hear in an empirical and impactful manner, how much more goodness and joy could be returned to all of us, but most importantly, to those who we deem as our future?
LuKeisha Carr Ministries International