Through tears and a growing sense of determination I say again that “us” and “them” doesn’t work. What happened to “we” the people? The incomprehensible tragedy that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut has not only brought us together for a moment,  but has created one in which we can choose to act.

This moment has been filled with grief, sorrow, pain, anguish, resolve and prayer.  Within this moment has also been unity.  But this accord is also under attack… again. And whom can we look to as the culprit? Each one of us.  Me, you and yes them. We have all been guilty of holding on to our point of view so staunchly that there is no room for differences among friends, among countrymen.

The moral health of the nation has been battered by “us” and “them”.  Bullies have worn red and blue.  Divisiveness and inflammatory speech makes for entertaining pep rallies, televised debates, movies, television shows, radio chatter and articles but do they make a better country? Does this inspire a country to greatness or a man to madness?

Has the end of civilized debate come? As we dissect what occurred to drive men in Connecticut, Tucson, Aurora and other areas to madness the sides emerge. Gun control advocates and those against it. Those who wish to defend the Constitution more than the people it was meant to protect.

The pursuit of happiness is something that we must chase collectively. Advancing the country that we live in requires coming to the table with the goal being working together for a country that “we” all can benefit from.  I too join with the nation to offer prayer and condolences to those affected by the tragedy in Connecticut. But aren’t we all affected?  I have been tempted to turn away from the news.  So overcome with the sadness of hearing of the loss of innocence, our children and beloved teachers and educators.  But when this occurs is when we actually need to tune in. Isn’t that what’s missing from so much of our lives today?  We are too busy, too focused on our side that we don’t tune into each other. Tuning in to the needs of not only our family but those in our communities and in the community next door.

What can we do now? We can take this moment and choose to act collectively to better our nation, its people and our collective moral health. We can start where we are. There are some things that require complete unity. We must agree to embrace our differences and consider the other side. We can take the best of each of us of each side.  We must foster a culture that values one another regardless of viewpoint. We must not act as bullies. We must be the example to our children, to our communities to the world. We can come together. Mothers and fathers can raise thoughtful, concerned children. Citizens can talk to the other side.  Neighbors can act like neighbors. We can love one another. We cannot tolerate bullying. We cannot tolerate violence. We can say enough is enough. We can pray together.  We can honor the memory of lost innocence by pursuing it ourselves.  We can get honest as children often do even when it doesn’t benefit what we believe is our side. We can talk to one another, see one another, comfort one another, share with one another, laugh with one another, help one another.

We can take this moment to become a New Town.