A letter

This was the letter I wrote to the teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School. The 1st draft was stronger & held an inappropriate tone of didactic urgency.

Dear Ms. Hammond & Ms. Didonato,

Please accept the Love I send you from India. I read about the tragedy & felt that this might be the best way in which I can reach out to the grief and confusion that looms large in the wake of such incidents. I believe there is salve in holding each other close, wordlessly. This mail is to all the teachers & supporting staff of Sandy Hook Elementary School as well as to the parents, families & friends who wish to ensure that what emerges from this tragedy is a society with a brighter inner light.

I pray for the souls that departed leaving behind souls that suffer a trauma far worse than the sheer pain of death. The parents & friends, families & neighbours have a lot of pain to give form & meaning to & I pray that they find strength & Love while taking necessary time to rise above the vision & voices of this tragedy. Most of all, I hope they find requisite resolve to will this grief to become the fuel for Love. For that I pray & seek the aid of the Divine Soul.

I understand that you have testing days ahead. Not only must you deal with the grief within, you would also, as paladins of a learning society, be sought out to help those who wander confused through these dark nights of aftermath. Some might turn to religion, some to meditation, some to doubt & some to fear but if any of these merely offer suppression of what is, then I hope we realise & accept that all these are insufficient means to address the call of the hour. With all my heart I believe that what we need is clarity & conviction. We need to light the road ahead with a clarity that is timeless & not merely something that is seemingly appropriate for now or the next five years. This calls for wisdom & compassion far superior to popular gestures of forgiveness & charity. I am certain that when you reach deep within into your seat of light, you will find the spring of this wisdom. For that I pray & seek the aid of the Divine Soul.

I realise that the kith & kin of beautiful people who were felled by Adam’s misguided choices, are in pain & in shock or are reacting in shock. I wish I was there to help them in the littlest way to heal their wounds by disallowing rage or confusion from finding residence in their hearts. If you feel that I could be of any help in reaching out to them, I would most eagerly do so (and let the timezone differences not be viewed as impediment). They didn’t have a choice in the turn of events, but they have one now – either to let this act of confusion perpetrate more of that or bring in the clarity that Love alone should be the education of every child & adult. For that I pray & seek the aid of the Divine Soul.

There is & will be much anger & doubt around. While a common response would be to suppress it, I would think about allowing it to take the shape of a hoe that must turn the soil of confusion & bring about opportunities for seeking a complete transformation into goodness. Goodness, as we all know, needs no strut. In these times of confusion, I have also felt the need to seek out validation or support for rightness & goodness, only to realise that they need neither. Their value is not incidental or a matter of substitution in equations of human consolation. I believe that as the folks of Newtown come to terms with what happened, goodness & rightness will be repeatedly challenged. The bruised souls of Newtown need your gentle & loving guidance to be exposed to this absolute Truth. I imagine you will hear questions of immense proportions: “What did my child ever do wrong?” “How can we ever let this happen?” “What God!?” “How do we prevent this from happening?” “Can we ever be safe?”. I pray for sufficient strength for all those who must face these questions. Answers to these will often take the form of agendas, laws, resignation to Fate or God or other choice beliefs that each person might hold. I hope we realise that none of them are answers if they merely try to cosmetically hide what will genuinely heal. Open discussion into the root of all that branches out as confusion of various kinds can heal significantly & also helps people give vent to their confusion. These discussions might seem pointless to wo~/men of action. Please help them realise that action founded on anything other than clarity, necessitates other kinds of (equally premature) action. To stem this relentless chain of acting & necessitating action, one must discuss with an open heart & a Love that is accommodating & nurturing. For that I pray & seek the aid of the Divine Soul.

I am certain that the teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School are gifted with the compassion & understanding to know exactly how to comfort the people of Newtown. Please forgive me if my words appear presumptuous. I merely share all that I feel & think while sitting thousands of miles away.

The children who have come out unharmed are never really so. They are fertile ground for reading this incident non-constructively. I suffer as I realise that they need the right impressions to form on their innocuous minds & hearts. I am sure you are aware of this far more than many others but grief lends a blur which one needs to be conscious of. These children will grow up to be parents & teachers & statesmen. It is now, that the adults of Newtown are deciding the future of the state of America & society in general. Anger & hatred takes firm root in children & morphs into beings one can hardly imagine. I hope that while assuaging the grief of the adults you & the people of Newtown compassionately help these children emerge fearless from this event & find enough calm & guidance to transform this grief into the fuel for Love. This, far more that anything else written in here, is vital & urgent. This, I believe, will ensure that no such incident will happen again anywhere on earth. This alone will help these children shun violence in every form. This alone will sow the seeds of compassion. This alone will rid this world of hatred. This alone will nurture goodness in the human heart. This alone, dear teachers & custodians of the most precious of all things human, will make every death a life well lived. For that I pray & seek the aid of the Divine Soul.

I worry about every question that will be placed before you, every tear shed, every nightmare that might plague a child’s sleep, every doubt that we may house against our very own kind. I do not know how all of these will be healed. It is indeed a great responsibility on your shoulders & I shall offer a prayer every day so that you may find reservoirs of strength & courage to face them. I worry endlessly about how these children will grow & carry this incident with them. I hope that Life is kinder to them & to all those who have lost a significant portion of their life over the past few days. I hope Newtown returns to what it was. For that I pray & seek the aid of the Divine Soul.

May all the strength, wisdom, courage, compassion & Love that you need to help the citizens of Newtown transform to beauty, be readily yours.

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