Jul 25, 2014

OPINION: How Perry Hall Copes with Tragedy Matters

The new challenge is how we recover from the devastating events that took place last week at Perry Hall High School.

OPINION: How Perry Hall Copes with Tragedy Matters OPINION: How Perry Hall Copes with Tragedy Matters OPINION: How Perry Hall Copes with Tragedy Matters

Like most readers of Perry Hall Patch, I had close connections to individuals who directly faced last Monday's . My niece was in the middle of the first day of her junior year at the school and experienced the turmoil and confusion. Additionally, a close friend of our family, who works as a social studies teacher at the school, happened to have lunch duty in the school cafeteria, and saw firsthand as this horrific event took place.

My immediate feelings after learning of the school shooting were a mix of deep sadness tinged with a bit of anger. The sadness was certainly understandable.  While I didn't personally know the victim , as a parent I could clearly relate to what his parents must have been feeling. I immediately reflected back to a time when I was and his future.

The flash of anger I experienced was probably not unique either. I have always had a hard time in understanding the purpose behind bad things happening to good people, or to good communities. I suppose this is where faith in a higher power comes in. I have always considered myself a spiritual person, who believes there is a deity that watches over us as we live our lives. Whether referred to as God, Jesus Christ, Jehovah, Allah, or by some other name, it seems that we all yearn for a supreme being to place our trust in, especially during times of turmoil.

Seemingly needless pain and suffering, like what took place as a consequence of last week's shooting at Perry Hall High School, are often the source of a personal crisis of faith for individual believers. A person might ask, "Why would a loving and caring God allow events like this to take place?" I know that I found that question running through my own mind throughout the day last Monday. 

As I reflected on this question, there has only been one answer that really made any sense to me. In pondering this issue, I looked back to that many of us have experienced—the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The one positive takeaway from that horrible day was the manner in which the tragedy brought our nation together. People from all across America were united in a common spirit of resolve to of that historic day. 

Knowing this, it seems to me that what Perry Hall chooses to do as a community in the at our high school is what will really make a difference for the future. Rather than get mired in our emotions, we should seek out opportunities to of purpose. Residents of Perry Hall truly can turn tragedy into triumph, if we only choose to care enough and to try hard enough. 

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