I was watching the news story about the incident at Uvalde the day it happened to those poor children, their families and the community, when I started to sob and quiver, and not just for the kids and those directly affected, though that certainly would have been enough. But because that same day at work I prevented a jealous and out-of-control student with scissors in his hand from trying to stab me, my supervisor, and an administrator. The two incidents seemed so similar in so many ways I couldn’t help but feel ganged up on by re-enactment, trauma, and thoughts about some pretty complex systems of enablement, and had to apply in a couple of hours before bed some grounding exercises I learned in therapy for helping me with my PTSD, and next have myself a little lovingkindness meditation to keep my heart open. This trauma work is the minimum it takes these days to live reasonably in a world with so much violence, greed and power seeking, I told myself, before I started to realize that while I was right, being so aggressive about getting rid of those things enacted itself a similar “pound of flesh” kind of evil. It’s why I can say to you with all the love in the world that while I pride myself on being honest, I still hate myself most days for being a human hypocrite, and that in order to start to open my heart to not just me, but others, I have to make it a point to unconditionally forgive the part of me that doesn’t know what to do with it’s own personal hypocrisy except just wait there in it’s own mind, just behind a possible action, in order to simply come back to myself again. Like a police chief crouching behind a classroom door in an active shooter situation, unsure as to whether or not he should open it, hoping that, like the most loving of us, some part of him he can’t think around or give orders to cuts through with the right precision, the right compassion, without hesitation, and at the right moment to save a mind other than his own, but who knows even all that may still not be enough to get the real job done, as it extends beyond the walls of the classroom and into our living rooms.