Making Sense of Sandy Hook
There is no making sense of the tragedy at Sandy Hook or other past, present, and future tragedies.
Reasons help but they don’t make sense of something. It helps to say the gunman was on drugs or crazy, but only a little.
Job, the oldest book in the Christian Bible, confronts human tragedy. At one point, the main character says, “Though He (God) slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Job wasn’t making sense of things. He was responding.
There is only response.
I remember recorded phone messages from the past 9/11 tragedy. Their voices whispered, “I love you.” Today, people in Sandy Hook gather together, all bewildered and broken hearted, some angry, but most importantly, loving each other.
Tomorrow’s tragedy waits. It doesn’t make sense to me but I know it’s there.
We’ll try making sense of 20 children and 6 adults dead. At best, we’ll find reasons that might explain but won’t satisfy. The same thing is happening across the globe in places like China or Africa. And what about tsunamis, fires, earth quakes, and …
Response: lead with love.
Hitler led but he didn’t lead with love for others. Great leaders love people, organizations, products, and services. Most importantly, they love making things better.
Leading with love also means preparing for and preventing tragedies.
Leaders who love, express:
- Compassion toward the broken.
- Correction toward the confused.
- Confrontation toward the belligerent.
Join me in praying for suffering people in Sandy Hook and around the globe. Additionally, renew your commitment to lead with love wherever you are.
What does loving leadership look like?
Thanks for the good word even thought the occasion is sad.
Loving leadership leaves room for grief, searches for understanding and meaning and then points the way forward.
No, there is no making sense of things like this.
Hi Martina, making room for others is a great act of love AND leadership. It enhances individuals and organizations. Powerful!
Hi Dan, Sandy Hook is such a jolt, so tragic, so unnecessary, it is beyond explantation. To love is to lead, and there are people needing all they can get right now. Thank you for this reminder Dan, certainly you lead with love, without doubt
Hi Richard, Thanks for the good word and for the type of person you are…I find knowing you encouraging.
Dan…thanks for this thoughtful and honest reflection. I couldn’t make you webinar but would love to join the next one…any plans to do another one. My wife and I both love to write and have a blog…see http://www.marriagemosaic.org and feel we have things to share with others, but want to connect with more people.
Loving leadership starts with forgiveness. I know that is not a popular message with a lot of people. When we are hurting, we don’t want to forgive. But forgiveness is a gift to yourself and others. That’s where healing starts. http://toddliles.com/pray-for-your-enemy.html
Dan thanks for your reference to Job. At times like this and hopefully everyday we put our trust in God through his son Jesus. John 14:27 tells us of His peace. Jesus, the ultimate leader, led out if love. I join you in prayer!! Howie
I find this post to being extremely empowering. In the face of such a disturbing occurence, it is easy to succumb to sadness or depression and to regard our world as a mad one. The events of yesterday are devastating, but rather than hiding from the tragedies of life as a cynical attitude might, your response of leading with love suggests that humanity just might have the strongest tool to continually work at healing itself, bettering itself, and actualizing our capacity for the good of all. Thank you for this!
Well said ! Amen. Maybe we, as folks who live in the 21st century, will wake up and say “Enough, We have to fix this !”
This event serves as a bleak reminder of the urgency for those who are committed to leading with love to turn up the volume of our actions. I join others in prayer and commitment to do so.
Thanks Dan. A time to pray for the victims, their families and our nation who weep over such a tragedy. A time to love and to look to Him who has mercy and compassion on the brokenhearted.
So true; recriminations are not the way forward. Dan, I know you’re not looking for kudos, but the best response to this post that I can think of is to share it with my network, which I have done.
Thank you. Commitment made and renewed.
perfect our life without drama and assumption emotional feelings are not trustworthy
Dan I have done multiple studies on the book of Job. The lessons are for all times. Such sadness for our country…
Thank you for this call to a commitment to lead with love.
The tragedy at Sandy Hook at the reactions that followed illustrate that leadership sometimes means acknowledging, seeking to understand and praying.
Like many, I watched as the President tearfully spoke to the world after this event while holding back tears. He told us that he reacted to the news of the shooting “not as a president, but as a parent”.
President Obama, like many leaders, in the face of a tragedy or crisis has to attempt to set aside emotion and…well…LEAD. His attempt was met with criticism. There were those who doubted his sincerity. Others criticized statements from his administration on the day of the shooting saying that “today is not that day” to talk about gun control and other political debates. People have looked back on the President’s record on gun control and the perceived silence on the issue. In short, he and all of his actions have been dissected, twisted, turned and replayed to determine if he had done the “right things”.
As we examine ourselves as we seek to answer your question, “What does loving leadership look like?”- we may find that our attempts at what we believed to be loving leadership have been met with criticism. Have we done the right things? Leadership is looked to for answers. As a leader you have to be able to admit that you don’t have all the answers. This does not make you powerless. In times when answers don’t exist, you fill in the blanks with the only thing that does make sense- love.
A very thoughful and touchy post. It’s quite shocking and tragic that massacre happened in a school of the developed state. No words for those who have lost theirs chidren and dear ones due a foolish act of an inhuman crack gye.
Loved your message and saying that great leaders love people, organizations, products and services. They love making things better. The great thoughts and feel that we need to prevent such tragedies by spreading the message of love, peace and brotherhood by emphasiing how a precious is human life. The God punishes those who induge in such cruel acts.
Let social and religious leaders inspire and influence masses to remain good and be good to others. The Jesus’s message of love should get spread across all commmunities and parts of the word. Our sincere prayers and support to all those in sorrow.
Compassion is a gift … but it sure renders a sad heart and a painful gut when tragic events like this happen.
Why the “Christian Bible”? Did you forget that Job is a part of the Jewish Bible? As a Jew, I’m perplexed by your omission.
Great point… perhaps Hebrew Scriptures is better. Thanks
Not related specifically to Dan’s mention of “The Christian Bible” as I know that’s his faith tradition but I too have struggled with some of the assumptions made as this tragedy unfolded. I know that most mean well – that good intentions coming from a Catholic are understood by a Muslim (for example) or vice versa – but I think this is one area that begs leaders to be attuned to how intimately people’s various faith traditions guide them – and be sensitive to that.
Well said Dan. I hope our Nation’s leaders lead with love to prepare for and prevent such tragedies. We continue to pray for all the families affected. It is horrific.
I think another sign of good leadership is that the leader does not shrink from the responsibility of communicating, even when there are few answers. I’ll never forget how well my daughter’s kindergarten’s principal handled the news of 9/11 as it unfolded. Age appropriate but acknowledging that there was a problem, and that this problem would be a topic of conversations in their homes and in the world around them. It matters.