When Will Chicago Find Peace?

View of the skyline from the top of the ferris wheel on Navy Pier

The story of a nine year old boy being lured into an alley to be shot to death shattered my heart. The fact that it was gang related makes no difference to me; nine year old boys should not be afraid of being shot in an alley. This is a fear my children will never know. There are rarely any shootings in our Chicago suburb. My children won’t be lured into an alley; their father (or mother) are not gang bangers.  I am not afraid of stray bullets flying through my living room.

How can I help prevent these violent crimes? I could vote for stricter gun laws, which I am inclined to do, but many of the guns in these crimes are obtained illegally. I could vote for politicians who will be tough on crime, but I’m only allowed to vote for Cook County politicians, not City of Chicago politicians. What, then, can I do to help bring peace to our city?

The shootings in Chicago are out of control, but violence doesn’t require a gun. Nor does violence only happen in urban areas. When I was teaching in a small rural town, a young teacher didn’t show up for work one day. She hadn’t called for a substitute and didn’t answer the phone. The principal drove out to her farmhouse and discovered something simply horrifyingly. My colleague had been strangled with a telephone cord, presumably by someone she knew.

I just don’t know the answers. I wish I did. What can I do?

Well, I can continue to do what I’m doing. I can give my students a hug or high-5 when they walk into the classroom. I can help them feel safe when they are at school. I can teach my preschoolers to be kind to each other; to share; to not hit; and when something happens, to say, “I’m sorry.” I can help start them on the right path.

Even the mayor of Chicago must have (belatedly) remembered what he learned as a child. When you do something wrong, you need to apologize.

Rahm Emanuel

Will peace ever come to Chicago? I’m not sure it can. But here’s something else I can do; I can hope.



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Week of Dec. 7-11 : Peace
Week of Dec 14-18 : Joy
Week of Dec. 21-25 : Love
Week of Dec. 28-Jan. 1: New

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8 Responses to When Will Chicago Find Peace?

  1. Great Article, and very appropriate this time of year. There is only one who is big enough to bring this kind of peace. In the Nativity story, it isn’t Caesar Agustus, or Quirinius, it’s the one in the manger. Praying alongside you for real peace for Chicago.

  2. I must admit I have tuned out lately to stories about shootings, be they in the US, France, Lebanon or Nigeria. But I hope that some sense of peace will come to those who commit those crimes, because it will only go downwards if it doesn’t.
    Mara recently posted…Brom is readyMy Profile

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