Article by Wendy McCance
I was watching the news this morning and heard that a motive was being put together for why Adam Lanza would target his mom and small children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The report said that Adam Lanza knew he was about to be put in a mental health facility. It also stated that his mother used to volunteer at the elementary school where the shooting took place. It is believed that Adam Lanza felt his mother loved those children more than she loved him.
Hearing a possible reason why the shooting happened and understanding what might have gone on in the mind of Adam Lanza made a small amount of the heartbreak I felt lessen to a degree. I still tear up when I hear or read anything about what happened to those children. I feel intense sorrow for the families of these children who died in the rampage. I was surprised by the compassion I began to feel for a young adult who had such a tough life dealing with his own demons. My anger subsided ever so slightly.
Finding some sort of compassion for a troubled individual has helped me deal with the tragedy of what happened. I have no idea if I would be able to see things in the same light if I had been touched personally by the experience of what happened. I pray I never have to find out what my heart is made of in such a situation.
I believe in trying to find compassion in life’s rough situations. There is always going to be a situation where you feel burned by another individual whether at work or in your personal life. There will be times where a situation feels incredibly unfair. Being able to step back and examine the situation and the person as an observer rather than as someone emotional tied to a bad situation can help heal many bad feelings.
I once dealt with a supervisor who seemed to really care about her employees until she found something to become disappointed about with them. I saw as one by one she made each and every employee lose trust in her. She was so determined to look for the bad in each person. Her level of faith in others was incredibly low. The employees really started to despise what she was all about. I also got my fair share of the wrath of this supervisor. Although I became uncomfortable around her and put up walls to guard myself, I never felt the intense anger that other co-workers had for her. What saved me from those feelings was a feeling of compassion for her. This supervisor seemed so stressed out and out of control when it came to leading a group of people. I had heard that there were personal issues that had her worrying. I also saw how the standards of what she was supposed to accomplish were much higher than what she would be able to pull off.
As soon as I saw the human side of this supervisor and was able to put my self in her shoes, the anger diminished. I no longer felt so personally attacked. I saw that she was not good under pressure and didn’t know how to take control while keeping her employees in a state of feeling supported. It was like she had just abandoned ship and would kick and scratch if any one of us tried to pull her back into the boat. The point was that she had her own demons to face. Her way of handling things had nothing to do with the employees she oversaw.
Life is tough, let’s face it. As I am always reminding my kids, when a situation makes you feel bad, stand back and try to find an understanding of why someone might have reacted in a certain way. So many times, there are reasons that have nothing to do with you. When you can stand back objectively without allowing your feelings to get in the way of the truth of the situation, some peace will be found and any anger will begin to subside.
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