I've had another one of those experiences... You know?... The kind that is like a slap in the face, and completely humbling at the same time...
Today in one of my art classes we were talking about the Virginia Tech shooting that happened yesterday afternoon. One of the campus police officers "Crouse, ... was involved in a traffic stop in a campus parking lot at the time of the shooting. Police said the gunman walked up, shot the officer and then fled on foot before he apparently killed himself nearby. The suspect was not involved in the traffic stop."
This officer, left behind his wife and five children... and he wasn't very old, 39. Based off of this quote: "a woman who answered the door at the Crouse home...said it wasn't a good time to talk, and they were trying to get the children to bed." I would assume, his children are probably quite young. ---My heart breaks for the family.
We were reading over the news articles and press releases and one of my students (rather excitedly) asked "Can we all make Zentangles and mail them to the family?" I almost cried... really, she took my breath away. I told her, if she wanted to make Zentangles over the weekend, I would find a way to get them to the family. ...And I will. Since then, I have mentioned the idea to various classes and students. I explained that anyone is welcome to make the family Zentangles, artwork or cards, and I will gather the gifts Monday and Tuesday and will package and mail them Wednesday. I am curious to see what is brought in.
Once again, the generosity and good will of the human spirit has brought a flicker of light in the dark.
I was dumbstruck (for lack of better words)... I guess, I was simply in awe, that in a world where stereotypes run ramped, where "teenagers" are so detached, so unrelated to the outside world, so self-motivated and inwardly-focused; one of these teenagers would quickly think to reach out to comfort those affected, by this tragedy. It was a huge reminder to me... (I'm really not one to judge or stereotype or even assume (I try my best not to))...but it really hit home. People, especially teenagers, are much deeper than what they appear to be on the outside... you just need to find that spark, that light, within them.
I really shouldn't be surprised, and I guess I'm not... I'm just totally and completely humbled.
Resources I used and referred to in this post include: