In the Face of National Pain

In the Face of National Pain

As someone who was affected by this week's tragedy in Las Vegas on an emotional/cultural level vs a personal one (as in, my intimate loved ones were not killed or injured), I believe it's my responsibility to take action in a direction that offers even the tiniest glimmer of hope. 

In post event conversation with my mom, reflecting on sending more love and peace into our world, she said, "Amanda, we are those people. What more can we do?" To which I responded, "We are, but we can take more action."


  • We can request that our schools integrate more mental health into the curriculum. 

  • We can demand our employers provide better human resources, and healthier mental environments.

  • We can stand against violent media, video, games, and cultural messages that give power to hate.

  • We can speak our truth louder and to more people; we can do better and we have to in order to make a change. 


Then I had to put my money where my mouth was... but where? I work on that last one daily, but where could I do even more? 


After sending my three kids out the door to school, I cleared my calendar of other obligation and took the time I needed to carefully craft this message to my local elementary school. If it resonates with you take what you like and share with your schools. If not, let it inspire you to find one small way you can serve the world with more hope today.

The letter:

With a heavy heart like many Americans today, I'm thinking about what can be done to change our culture of violence in America. I'm thinking about what small actions I can take that will make some kind of difference in the big picture. I find myself drawn here, drawn to our schools, to our amazing educators, and to our children. 

I don't have any answers, I don't think anyone really does, but I have some ideas and some desires that I'd like to share. 

Our school wide themes have been stated as "safety, responsibility, and compassion." I'd like to propose that we take massive action to be known as the school who not only carries these themes, but lives them to their fullest. Some schools are known for their science, math, STEM, or arts; what if we become the school known for "safety, responsibility, and compassion"? What if we take this to the next level and integrate it fully into our children's daily lives?

Here I pause, because I know that you are already integrating many of these themes into our children's lives, and I want to give ample opportunity to thank you, and to invite you to respond back with all the ways we as a school take action on these themes. I admit, that as a parent, I am not aware of many of them. 

I'd like to propose some bulleted ideas. Some may be far out and impossible, some may be already in existence, and some may be of interest. I hope this can simply be the start of many more conversations:


  • Add a weekly one minute guided meditation based around these themes to the morning announcement. This will give students pause to reflect on how important these themes are to our school cultures as a whole.

  • Send notes home to caregivers when individual students take action on these themes. I.E. "Today your student _________." This will stimulate conversations at home regarding safety, responsibility, and compassion. 

  • Host parent workshops on these themes, inviting families to learn tools to encourage mindful behaviors at home and in community.

  • Consider field trips to places like: the peace pagoda, the Rowe conference center, college social justice centers. Bringing students out into the world to see how they can further integrate these themes in their lives will show them that these are not just important school topics, but important LIFE topics. 

  • Integrate social media, youTube, video game, TV, and movie conversations that address these themes. Whether we like it or not, many children are introduced to violence daily through these ever growing outlets. Not only do they have access, but many have access without adult supervision.

  • Add centerpiece displays about "safety, compassion, and responsibility" to the cafeteria lunch tables. This will stir roundtable conversation, and student led discussion at meal time.

  • Add self-care, self-love, and compassion art to the bathroom mirrors where students can read and reflect when they step away from the classroom. This will support students to see that healing starts on the inside, and when we care for ourselves we can better care for others.

  • Give students "challenges" and "contests" that encourage these behaviors. This makes understanding and integrating these themes fun and engaging.

  • Host staff meetings centered around these concepts. Not only will this benefit the student body as the concepts trickle down, but it will benefit the staff. Having these conversations regarding education, will be matched by having them regarding workplace "safety, responsibility, and compassion". We lead by example.

I could go on for hours here, and am open to more brainstorm. I am positive I am not the only parent who feels this way. 

I also realize I am not a school administrator, or educator, and that my awareness is limited, but I truly believe that after incidences like what happened in Las Vegas this week, it is our job to take every small step we can to making the world a place where themes like "safety, responsibility, and compassion" are as important as diet, exercise, and hygiene. 

Thank you for considering these ideas, and for all the ways you will continue to make our school an amazing place for our students, staff, families, and the greater global community.

Amanda Kingsley


How does this apply to The Model? Let's look!


"The Model"- a Brooke Castillo process, with an Amanda Kingsley twist...

- National tragedy (LasVegas Shooting)

- “How will it ever change? What can I possibly do that will make a difference?”

- Defeat

- Retreat to my "safe" life and hope for the best.

- Nothing changes as a result of my inaction.

ASK (Is this in alignment with my WHY?)


The Model applied for realignment: 

- National tragedy (LasVegas Shooting)

- “Every voice, idea, and action matters. How can I help?”

- Hope

- Clear my schedule and write a letter to my kids elmentary school (text above).

- Conversation with school staff regarding how we can implement change.

ASK (Is this in alignment with my WHY?)


What can you do to make a the world a safer place?
Tell us in the comments.


Amanda Kingsley

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