Sending prayers, light and love to the people of Pakistan today. To the families in our community with ties to Pakistan, we grieve the murder of your children and educators. We hold hope for those trying to heal from injuries and for survivors who try to calm terrified hearts.
Two years ago when our children were murdered at Sandy Hook the image below was one that stood out to me, of children in Pakistan praying and grieving for us. Today it is the world’s turn to shift that love to Peshwar.
For our community, if you discuss this tragedy with your children remember to do so in an age-appropriate way. Point out the helpers, like strangers who carried injured children in their arms to doctors, a parent whose own child did not exit the school but stood with another student waiting for his family, for nurses at bedsides of injured children holding vigil until mother and father arrived, for residents who flooded blood banks to capacity to donate blood to the wounded. For older children, there are beautiful lessons here about empathy and bravery, for example several of the female teachers who witnesses say were killed while trying to stand up to the attackers in order to protect the lives of their students.
While this may seem a world away, point out to your children the similarities we share in this human experience. BBC, Reuters, and Al Jazeera have some moving photo galleries (non-graphic) that demonstrate how connected rather than different we are, despite the borders, oceans, languages, and religions that separate us.
Hands that come together in prayer, perhaps held in a different way, still seek the same peace ours do. Heads bowed in silence, perhaps searching meaning from a different god, feel the same feelings ours do. Mourning that is perhaps spoken in a different language yet carries no less grief. Tears from mothers and fathers that fall with universal understanding, as violence against children and those who try to protect them is an act found unconscionable the world over.
We are more the same than we are different.