I have never met Victoria Soto. Never shaken her hand. Never laughed with her. Never worked with her. Never laid my eyes upon her aliveness. Yet I am moved to a deep resolve by her bravery. It is my hope and belief that in a moment like that I would do the exact same thing. In that terrible moment in time she demonstrated presence, and compassion, and incredible heroism to hide the children in her hands in closets and cupboards, and put her body between them and that of the madman with his finger on the trigger. Surya Das talks about the power of the ten enlightened principles. One of those is the Power of Heroic Effort. It is my belief that as a human being, a spirit and soul that walked this earth in physical form Victoria, in that moment proved her metal as a person. She will be remembered as a hero in my heart and in the hearts of the children that she saved and those of their families. May her name, and the names of all those who were so senselessly gunned down, may them and their story live much longer than the memory of the name of the shooter. May it outshine the terror and the violence as a beacon of hope and heroism to those who in her shoes would believe that they would do precisely what she did. We never know when we are going to face those moments. None of know when we wake in the morning whether or not we will be alive at sunset. May we all believe that in those moments where we are tested we would put ourselves between innocence and violence, that we would shield that which is new and growing in this world from the blind crosshairs of violence, anger and hatred. May we all nurture the hero within ourselves, and within our children. As was made abundantly clear at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday, the world needs more heros.
Let there be peace on earth. And let it begin with me. And you.