WTF – When to Ask Why, not What.

Newtown CT Tribute

This week as parents, as former students, as human beings the stories we are hearing, seeing, reading join us together in a shared mix of disbelief, horror, fear, anger an sadness. Because of the inability we have to comprehend how or why something like this could happen (aside from the lovely helpful folks on social media claiming it to be god’s wrath or something or other), it also joins us in frustration, which then leads to blaming.

Understanding and blaming are different things. Let’s remember that. But lets also recognize the power of the story. Content marketing, story telling, is at it’s core, a manner to get a message across, to create an awareness in the reader, the content consumer, that ties him or her to the story that is being told in a personal way. These stories shed light on situations, lifestyles, the existences that people are forced to live with in hiding and in shame, can bring a community together, whereas in silence all they can do is separate, at best, cause destruction at worst.

A mother, over 2500 miles from the tragedy in Newtown, CT, poured our her heart and her life into a relatively short blog post that has gone viral, sharing her story with society to help us understand, and get us to do something. She has come of of the shadows of shame and fear and said the unthinkable, spoken her truth and reality so that hopefully society can begin to become aware of the problem.

Read this Blog, Thinking the Unthinkable. After sharing an example of her life, Liza Long writes:

“I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.”

But don’t only read her story, read the comments (either on her blog, in other places where it has been published, wherever it is, you’ll find much of the same.) The comments are filled with awe, respect, concern, yes there is anger and blaming and horrendous recommendations, but there is more startlingly, far more posts of recognition that most of us would have ever imagined. Knowing HOW to think is more important than knowing WHAT to think

Take the time to process the information you’ve consumed before reacting to it and forming an opinion. There is no answer, just as there is no set path for success or failure, no 7 Effective Methods, 3 Right ways, or 12 things to never do ….

Take in the content, take in the information, relish it. Do not be a glutton for quick, spoon-fed answers, because those will be always be someone else’s motivation, and while it might look like yours chances are it’s completely different.