Opinion: Pick one person

The most recent school shooting hit too close to home. Twenty-five years of working as a special education teacher gave me the opportunity to spend time in most all of the elementary and middle school classrooms. I remember the increased security measures each year and the drills that ensured all of us would be able to protect the children in the event of the unthinkable.
Listening to psychologists talk about the detachment evident in each one of the shooters’ personalities, it is clear that people who do not detach themselves from the rest of us would be less likely to plan and carry out a murderous rampage in a public place. In the aftermath of the horrific event, most people who learn the identity of the perpetrator express surprise. While everyone is questioning why or how it could have happened, the rest of us need to move into action.
Reaching out and connecting with someone who seems to be experiencing serious difficulties is essential. Oh, we all perform random acts of kindness here and there or volunteer in the community. This will be a much more difficult task. Those among us who need the most help most likely will turn away or make it known they just want to be left alone.
It might be someone you know but most likely it is someone who is just a familiar face around town. It can be something as simple as saying hello each time you see the person or offering them help. This intentional act to connect with someone else benefits the entire community. Once a connection has been made, it seems to offer so many opportunities to make another throughout the year.
Go ahead, pick a person, just one. It makes a great secret Santa gift! Happy holidays!