As events continue to unfold in Ferguson, Mo., there are three questions we must ask ourselves: What are we to make of what is happening there? How can Ferguson not be the victim of empty promises of aid and justice that so often come after tragic events? And how can the community productively move forward?
It started like any other Friday afternoon. I walked through the unlocked front doors of my kids' school, stopped in the office to sign in as a volunteer and grab an ID badge, and headed down the hall to Ms. C.'s first grade classroom. I was there to help the kids write a newsletter about their week. Instead, I was reminded of my worst nightmare.
We need to love our children without taking the miracle of their lives for granted. We need be present to their warm, silly joy when it passes by us on the street. We should look them in the eyes with gentle sincerity, letting them know that they matter and that we are so very glad that they are here.
This week delivered another stark lesson in the difference between a real scandal and a manufactured one. On Tuesday, President Obama was photographed at the Nelson Mandela memorial service taking a selfie with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt, thus kicking off #selfiegate. This happened just before the president apparently destroyed America by shaking hands with Cuban President Raul Castro -- at a ceremony honoring a man for, among other things, rising above old hatreds and promoting reconciliation between former enemies. Attracting far less social media fury was the fact that an estimated 28,000 people, including almost 200 children, have been killed by gun violence in the year since Newtown -- or that under the Murray-Ryan budget deal being worked out, extended unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans will abruptly end on December 28. Maybe for Christmas, we should all ask Santa for a more well-placed sense of outrage.