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17 April 2007

Show compassion

Condolence_2“Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.” -Henry Ward Beecher

 “Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.” -Albert Schweitzer

When tragedy strikes, it is too easy to condemn the perpetrator and by so doing, extend that condemnation to his family. A vibrant, wonderful group of women I belong to has been drawn in the face of this horror to show compassion, not blame, to the family of the Virginia Tech killer. We are doing so by sending cards of condolence at their grief and loss and horror. If you would like me to include a greeting from you, please email your message to me and I'll make sure it is included. I'll simply print out your message, remove your email header, and include it. You can decide whether you'd like your name to appear in the body of your message, or not. In either case, at the end of your message, please include your location so they can see the widespread nature of our concern and compassion. Let's lift up this family as we are all the families of those killed; surely their grief is no less, and likely more, a weight we cannot fathom and hope we never will. Let's not add to it, but try to lessen it in some small way.
[Image from here]


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My sympathy for your pain and suffering at this point is profound. With all that you did to raise a child in the way you felt was best, you had no control over the events that took place last Monday. I hope that you can remember happy times and somehow come to accept the fact that his troubles are not a reflection on the family and the love you still have for him.

As a resident of rural, central New York, and one who has retired from teaching at a local college, I have seen many young people who struggle to find themselves in a very challenging world. I believe the English teacher who took on the responsibility to work individually with your son was probably a life-line he couldn't accept, although she really tried.

You are in our prayers that you can find some kind of peace from this troubling situation. V.W. Pence

patti, i sent you email for the cho family earlier today, and i just wanted to let you know how much that has helped me feel connected, present and real around this dislocating and numbing event. i watched with sorrow and anger yesterday as various television news people seemed in interviews to intentionally attempt to direct survivors' and family members' raw emotions toward the expression of anger and the casting of blame. i mean, at a time like that, why provoke further conflagration? didn't the pain originate in our seeming separateness? i am certainly ready to accept whatever emotion anyone directly affected by this tragedy needs to spontaneously express. however, contrary to the apparent convention, i think mere open witnessing of the event and its aftermath would make much more compelling viewing than the divisive agitating i see going on under the veil of empathy. this is painful enough. more blame, isolation, and vilifying can never truly help. let's come together in love and healing. thank you again for the opportunity to take a simple loving action.

My heart goeas out to your family at this great time of sorrow and disbelief. As a parent I am challenged daily - what is the right emotion, the right thing to do, the right thing to say - we all want so much for our children. Please know that there are many people who feel for you and what you must be going through presently. Reaching out to you from Minnesota.

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