A Killer Stops the Heart of a Nation Bleeding Inside Itself

Walk in someone else’s shoes and you might see things very differently.

"Arrow Sign" by ntwowehttp://www.freedigitalphotos.net/
“Arrow Sign” by ntwowe

We play a lot. We play with thoughts, ideas, ideals.

Do we really think?

Or, is thinking the problem?

The last time I really thought about something, it felt like my mind was running ahead of my body. I had to stop it. But, first, I had to catch up with it. My body was so tired from chasing all these ideas, ideals, rules. I was busy thinking of the next line, the next rule, and the person who broke it, the person who dared to disagree with me. There was a seething sense of anger that broke from my pinching fingers and sprinted ahead of me. Though I needed to control it, I couldn’t.

I bounced backward out of exhaustion and a desire to see where I was going. That lasted about ten minutes until I could catch myself. I grabbed ahold of the thoughts and cinched them around my fingers, reeling them in. I didn’t even care what the thoughts were. I only knew they moved too quickly and the anger felt violent and full of rage.

I’ve spent a good, I’d say, 35 years observing people in general. I spent my first five years attempting to understand them. The next five, I drew them and then wrote about them. After that, I was schooled either by motivation or by a teacher in observations. But, always, I observed myself.

And, in doing so, I’ve found that I can be a horrible person who is capable of great moments. So, I learned to stop myself and look at the person looking at me. I’ve learned that the moment I judge someone else, I should also turn inward. When the camera lens points at another, it should also point at the one holding it.

Today, for instance, I punished my children for behaving badly. They deserved it. I didn’t even need their angry glares to remind me how much they needed to be grounded. But, I did that thing that many people find weak and stupid, I turned inward and glanced at myself. I hated what I saw. So when I looked back at them. I saw their anger differently and relinquished them of their punishment.

I held my arms out and told them I loved them. They broke too. They cried and we apologized to each other. None of us cared who had won the argument or the tiny battle within our tiny fight. We just ate ice cream and played.

"Children Playing With Balls" by vorakornhttp://www.freedigitalphotos.net
“Children Playing With Balls” by vorakorn

We played, without ideas or ideals.

No one was right.

No one even cared.

Somewhere inside the gunman’s mind yesterday in Connecticut was a need to be right. There was an argument that he needed to win and couldn’t. Or, there was a wrong that needed to be fixed or covered up. Someone needed to win.

No one did.

We bleed. A heavy bruise weighs on our souls where we fight ourselves. To no end, we’ll continue to do this until we understand that we share our wounds.

Those children who died were our children. Those teachers were our teachers. And, that gunman was our neighbor, our child, our friend, our relative, and our monster. His mother was our mother.


Published by Lisa Chesser

I'm a writer, editor, award-winning educator, and marketing professional who hopes to rally everyone around one single mantra: Be brave, smart, and bold. As an educator, I love to remind students to dream in the midst of politics gone mad! Thus, I am also a dreamer.

13 thoughts on “A Killer Stops the Heart of a Nation Bleeding Inside Itself

  1. So true, so true (choking back tears). People need to let anger dissolve…you are right. We need to be able to forgive and make up. But our children need to be taught how to do this as well. Who knows the kind of childhood this boy had. It’s no excuse…but sometimes the real monsters are the parents.


  2. I had to come back and read this post again.. It’s so utterly poignant and true..
    Beautiful …we need to listen, love and yes, forgive..


  3. The event did break my heart. I thank you for writing this post so beautifully and I pray for all those little children and wonderful adults who lost their lives for no reason at all. Will do a post on this soon. But, your words did make an impact. Thank you!


  4. Reblogged this on Artist Naomi McQuade and commented:
    I haven’t stopped crying for three days. My children look up at me and ask “your crying again?”…… “Yes, I’m crying again.” I’m taking a deep breath, holding it, and letting the tears fall on my cheeks. I have to exhale. And when I do, I feel better for a little while. I hold my children tight, my husband, my mother, my brother. I apologized to my children today, I told them I want to be a better mom, and more caring one. I stopped a fight that was out of control today with a huge hug, an embrace, and a hour of snuggling. My son cried uncontrollably.


  5. I know that desire to understand the senseless acts from these last days and admire you for stopping and examining yourself midstream – and being big enough to let go of anger and love your kids – god knows I’ve been in that same spot myself (I’m sure anyone who has kids has been mad at them) – but the love for our kids surpasses everything and makes life itself worth living. Thanks for sharing.


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