Conversation and Compassion: Forging a response to gun violence

Posted:  Friday, March 9, 2018 - 8:30am

At Watershed School, it all starts with a conversation. Listening to understand, responding to others, disagreeing and agreeing, finding a path forward together- this is the Watershed Way. In light of the recent tragedy in Parkland, Watershed School has been engaged in conversations with students, parents, and faculty. We are taking time to reflect and deliberate on a meaningful response as individuals, as members of the Watershed School community, as residents of midcoast Maine, and as citizens of the United States.

Though we have not yet decided how we will use the 17 minutes on March 14th, we strive to make real the premises outlined by Amitai Etzioni in his book, The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society, in which he states, "If the community's moral course deeply offends my ultimate values, I must refuse, rebel, object, try to join with like-minded others to change the course, act as a conscientious objector, demonstrate peacefully, and even engage in civil disobedience". To this end, there grows among us a powerful drive to act with the goal of ending gun violence.

At the same time, we acknowledge and are moved with compassion toward the families directly impacted by these events. Honoring the lives and the loss of 17 young people, we search together for a message of hope and care that will reverberate through time to the families suffering now and long into the future. We try to put ourselves in their shoes and ask ourselves how we can help. Our instincts are to reach out to those struggling to reclaim their lives and gather strength enough to carry on.

On Monday, we gather again at Watershed School to continue our conversation during our weekly All School Meeting. Please join the conversation as we forge a way forward together that can support effective community action and/or meaningful expressions of compassion.

For more information, contact Watershed School at (207) 230-7341 or info@watershed-school.org.

Will Galloway is Head of School at Watershed School in Camden