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Tragedy and reflection

The recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School leaves us with much sadness and grief. As parents, it is difficult to comprehend surviving such an unbearable loss. Our society is looking for answers to prevent more senseless acts of violence. This focused attention is generating good ideas regarding the resolution of this problem and here is my perspective.

I accept my contribution to this tragedy. I literally believe in the concept of "oneness." From that perspective, I know that each of us contributes to the nature of our society. The tragedy in Newtown was created by all of us. Either we individually contributed to that energy, or missed opportunities to support those things that create an uplifting environment for everyone.

Many of us use spiritual principles to guide our thoughts and actions. We do our best to live by these principles. We evaluate our selves and others based on these principles. However, we experience conflict in certain aspects of our lives.

My theory is that we believe we are consciously functioning with spiritual principles when, in fact, we are not.

Consider that a person can have a spiritual construct of life and not adopt that strategy in living their life. This creates personal conflict and a misunderstanding of the source of that conflict.

At times, self-awareness is not always present, which can become habitual. If you strive to live by spiritual principles and unknowingly do not, conflict and unintended consequences are inevitable. If you believe in your spiritual convictions and you find yourself in conflict with another, my recommendation is to examine the actuality of your thoughts and actions. In other words — are your words and thoughts in harmony with your actions?

Using words in a precise manner increases our ability to communicate effectively and generate great ideas. If you believe that everything is interconnected but make exceptions, what do you really believe? Do you believe that the wings of a butterfly contribute to a continuous action? Do you believe that your life only effects and affects what you can see and touch?

Abraham Maslow's theory of motivation assumes that people strive for self-fulfillment. He concluded that everyone is born inherently good with a desire to achieve their highest potential. When circumstances of life block this growth toward fulfillment, we become dysfunctional, abnormal, and/or destructive individuals.

Historians, who study wars and violence from antiquity to the present, agree that the planet has become more peaceful. However, this tragedy can motivate us to do much better. Together and individually, we can fully internalize our principles and create a world that works for everyone.

I think our dialogue needs to be expanded beyond guns and mental health issues. We live in a complex and diverse society. Therefore, we need to look at the whole picture. This picture also needs your ideas and thoughtful contribution.

In the long term, what we teach our children should be a top priority. Human diversity, family structures and human development need to be emphasized in early childhood education. Our children represent our future. Why do we have such a large proportion of our citizens in prison? What are the driving elements in our society that create this phenomenon? Is it related to poverty, lack of jobs, insufficient education or something else? If we can determine the roots of this issue, we could find solutions. Our thoughts and actions are important. Together and individually, we can fully internalize our principles and create a world that works for everyone.

Al Huth, author of "An Extrordinary Life," lives in White City and is a performing magician. www.infinitemagician.com.

Rogue Valley residents are invited to submit 600- to 700-word articles on inner peace. Send articles to Sally McKirgan innerpeaceforyou@live.com