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Investing in Innocence

It takes a community to turn children into the leaders they grow up to be. How old do we have to be to find the imagination and enlightenment of dreams, wishes and fairytales?

"Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again." ~C.S. Lewis

I look for interesting or fun quotes that intrigue me every day and every so often I post them to facebook. Today I found the above quote by C.S. Lewis and it made me laugh. Not because, of course we all know that fairy tales are typically for children, but because sometimes it takes a mature soul with imagination to truly grasp the lessons and the wonderment found in fairy tales.

Only a few short hours later, a national tragedy would hit the news. 20 children and 8 teachers were shot at an elementary school in Connecticut; killed by a 20 year-old man.

As a mother, I was instantly mortified and my heart broke for the families and the community affected by this tragedy. I cannot imagine what they are going through in such a tough time.

Loss of innocence is sad. The wonderment of childhood, the excitement and creativity found in the eyes of these children has been washed away in an instant. Of course society is plagued by violence, war, crime and tragedy, but it doesn’t make these murders any more excusable.  Of course, in trying to comprehend what has happened I realized the irony found in that little quote by C.S. Lewis.

How old do we have to be to find the imagination and enlightenment of dreams, wishes and fairy tales? Furthermore, what will it take for us to make it a priority as parents and educators to encourage our children to keep the excitement of childhood alive? Is this the end of innocence?

Whatever may come from this tragedy for the families affected and the family of the young killer who was just a boy himself, there is nothing but mourning for the loss of innocence. There will be much discussion on gun control and regulation, but I would take the discussion a step further in asking society to examine the morals we set for our children and the value of parenthood. Children need leadership and love. While they need an example to look up to, no matter how old you are, you need to be inspired by the creativity of stories, the leadership of your parents and the hope sometimes found only in fairy tales.

It takes a community to turn children into the leaders they grow up to be. It takes a community to address violence and tragedy. It takes a community to support and promote a strong education program. Just as they are coming together in Connecticut, we must come together and stand together against violence and the loss of innocence in our community so that a tragedy like this doesn’t happen close to home. It is our responsibility.

While I will certainly hold my children a little closer tonight before bed, I might just take that extra minute to read a longer bedtime story and make it a priority to show them the wonderful things in this world that lie right around the corner.

For more on this developing story, visit Newtown Patch.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Leslie Ellis December 15, 2012 at 03:15 PM
What a lovely reflection, Julie. Thank you.
Karen Orlandoni March 12, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Thank you for this! Unfortunately, all too often, it is only tragedy's like the one here that fill the news, papers, and search engine sights. I too cherish innocence..... Thank you for this....... I believe it should be printed for all to see.. It is truly wonderful and thought-provoking. As a parent, it is truly OUR job FIRST to know what are kids are up to, to check in with them and to let them know that we are ALWAYS here for them, never losing that conversation with them. I applaud your post! THank you.

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