“HAVE A WORRIED THOUGHT?
REPLACE IT WITH A BRAVE THOUGHT”
I read this quote this week in the massive coverage of the Sandy Hook tragedy. I think it was in a letter of advice to parents on how to dispel worries children might voice after experiencing such trauma. As one young survivor of the tragedy told her mother, “But I just can’t stop thinking about it.” Mother suggested she replace this worry thought with a brave thought. What wonderful counseling for a frightened child.
My three –year- old granddaughter Maribelle uses the word brave often. I thought this was kinda peculiar as I don’t recall ever using that word as a child. But then again she is being raised at West Point Military surroundings with its many statues and memorials where her father talks to her about George Washington and how brave the soldiers were.
Then I thought too of all the countless fairy tales and Disney hero adventures children are exposed to in books, TV and movies. Brave is BIG. Brave is even what Princesses now practice. It’s a good thing!
This idea of replacing worry with brave came to mind many times this week as I heard too often how many children were lost and we see little children attending the funeral of little friends. It is not a pleasant scene, yet it is right to be brave. I think it doesn’t mean we don’t cry. It means we do something that is right even though we might be afraid or uncomfortable.
And I thought, how many adults could use this same mantra? Who doesn’t want to be brave? Who wouldn’t want a quick and doable formula for dispelling those worrisome thoughts that creep into our heads as we’re doubting ourselves, or awake in the night imagining the worst, or fearing for a family member’s safe arrival while traveling? Or giving ourselves a pep talk when facing an uncomfortable situation.
So hopefully out of this horrific tragedy of Sandy Hook-- perhaps something can be salvaged. A way to teach the living children to deal with fears and worries....something we humans are all plagued with throughout our lives. Let’s try hard to redeem something good—small as it may be—of this awful event. Let’s be a brave example to those around us—especially children. And may 20 little souls rest in peace—no longer a need to be brave –simply angelic.