Aftermath of Virginia Tech : What we can do to prevent such senseless killing?
The family of Rachel Scott asked the same question after her death at Columbine High School eight years ago. Rachel was the first victim murdered that day. Her brother was in the library with two of his best friends, both of whom were murdered.
To answer their question, Rachel’s parents read her diary which she carried with her that day. Rachel provided the answer. She said, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same." In an essay she wrote for an English class titled “My Ethics – My Code of Life,” Rachel stressed that we must look beyond appearances and first impressions. She believed that we know the other person and not just his or her “type,” we have no right to pass judgment. Rachel said, “Look hard enough and you will always find a light, and you can even help it grow, if you don’t walk away from those first impressions.”
As a result of reading Rachel’s journals, her family began Rachel’s Challenge, traveling to schools across the country to ask young people to accept Rachel’s Challenge. The tenets of her challenge are:
Eliminate prejudice by looking for the best in others.
Dare to Dream – set goals – keep a journal
Choose your influences – input determines output
Kind Words – small acts of kindness = huge impact
Start a Chain Reaction with family and friends
Pray that we heed the wisdom of a 16th year old.