Monday, January 10, 2011

When Tragedy Can Bring Us Together

Trying to make sense of a traumatic event is never easy. If anything can be gained from the tragic shooting in Arizona, we can hope it is the understanding that now more than ever, we need to join together as a nation and stop polarizing our communities.

The "Congress on Your Corner" event held by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was intergenerational, attracting older constituents seeking to be heard on issues important to them, and by at least one youth who wanted to behold Democracy in action close up. The fact the killer's bullets were indiscriminate makes the incident no less horrific.

In times of tragedy people can be comforted by generations joining together and listening to each other. The young people can find answers to life's thorny questions when they discover the wisdom of their elders. And older people can find hope in a cynical world when they see virtue in the eyes of the young.

We need to acknowledge we are all citizens, one people in a nation comprised of many different ideas and goals. We must continually remind ourselves that hate can only divide us; that we are interdependent, and together we must face the challenges ahead. It's a family, not a fight.

Rich Robinson is Press Secretary for Generations United. You can reach him at

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