By Jack Cumming

The shock and horror were overwhelming. Another shooting, this time in Nashville, revealed the madness that threatens our children every day. At school. Where they should be safe.

Tears Flow

Three 9-year-olds were sacrificed. Their lives began in 2014, not so long ago, and ended in 2023. Ironically, three adults, all also about the same age, 60 or 61, born in 1962 or ’63, the age of my own children, perished trying to save the youngsters, paying the ultimate sacrifice to the warlike violence that now infects our nation.

On a similar March day not long ago, Dr. Katherine Koonce, the head of school, who confronted the shooter and who died at the shooter’s hand, wrote: “We know how important it is that each and every child be known, be loved, and be prepared for all that God has for them moving forward.” How sad that such beauty of purpose was cut short in senseless mayhem.

Our Calling

We are all called to beauty or to evil. Sometimes evil prevails. In senior living, though, we can echo Dr. Koonce because it is important “that each and every [resident] be known, be loved, and be prepared for all that God has for them moving forward.” Just as Dr. Koonce’s commitment applied to the youngest as to the oldest, so our commitment can be to the frailest as to the most capable.

Pause to reflect on the beauty of what you do. Working in senior living, you give the gift of your life to others. There’s beauty in that. Not everyone is so giving, but those who give of themselves are rewarded and honored over and over. They should be. So, now as we honor Dr. Koonze for the life she lived, let us dedicate our lives to nonviolence and to knowing, loving, and preparing those in our care.

The Gift of Life

We never know when our time will come. If we do our best in service to others, then we will be prepared whenever our time comes to make the ultimate sacrifice.