Today (Dec. 14) is the one-month anniversary of the tragic day and the moment Nathaniel Berhow found his own life to be unworthy of his own continued support. The community in which he had actively participated had let him down somehow, in his own eyes, and he lashed out. Admitted: It is never right, never proper, never acceptable, never honest to support the kind of violent outlandish actions that Nathaniel carried out.
If prevention and learning are important, it IS right to pause and reflect on how the community went wrong.
The overt communal outreach to support those who lost loved ones, those traumatized, those outraged and those saddened has died down here in “Awesometown,” or “Beigeville,” very quickly. Good. That is likely an indicator of the underlying strength of the community itself…or maybe we are just preferring to forget, move on, and let sadness fade. Or maybe we are choosing to be distracted by the holiday lights, black Friday, political maneuvers, or the other varied nonsense that drives people together, or apart.
Forgetting is good, but without introspection it will assure there is little or nothing learned. If this is indeed a strong community, its learning from errors/faults is continuous and ingrained. If not, we may suffer again and again.
Never forget that Nathaniel Berhow was a model young man for 15.997 years in this community. Never forget that the community – somehow – failed him. If those two things can be ruminated, and kept in mind, we may be able to preclude the alienation that Nathaniel found unbearable from festering in the souls we care about. The souls in our community.