How to support a cause

Today marks the one year anniversary of the Newtown shooting.  This will bring an outpouring of people showing their support and remembrance for the tragedy.  Support will manifest itself in sharing of somber graphics on social media, but that’s about all.  Vigils will be held with fewer and fewer in attendance.  This isn’t uncommon, it happens with everything.

Maybe I’m callous or cynical, but it seems to me that people are eager to show support for a cause so long as it doesn’t cost very much.  Perhaps what it means to show support for a cause has changed.  Retweeting and sharing images has replaced donating time and money.  Just recently a benefit concert for the Sandy Hook incident was canceled due to lack of interest.

I know how this must read but I’m not excluding myself from my criticism.  There are few causes for which I part with my time and money — there are some, but few.  I’m not even condemning others.  It’s just that I don’t think every tragedy or cause needs a vigil.  Especially when attendance seems to be less than earnest at times.  These public displays and gatherings seem to scratch an itch for some people: the need to have others see how much they care.  Maybe that’s why I avoid such gatherings.  I’d be afraid that it would look like I’d be there for less than noble purposes, or worse, that it might just be the case.

To be honest, it doesn’t bother me that people want to show their support in these ways — I don’t know their heart.  I’m just reacting to how it appears to me, the cynic.  I wish that we, as a community, could get in a spirit of giving when we want to show support for something.  I believe support is more than ‘Like’-ing, sharing, and retweeting.

sandy hook


  1. Liberals always give “support” when it doesn’t cost anything. But it sure makes them feel good.

  2. These days, there are so many people vying for our time and money donations. It’s a bit overwhelming at times and my first instinct is to, at least, pitch a few bucks their way. But I can’t possibly donate to everyone who holds out the tin cup. While the mental health issues of the survivors of this tragedy are a good cause to support, I don’t know that I could put it at the top of my list of destinations for my charitable giving. I have to think that the community itself should be capable of providing for their own in this case. If only I was a wealthy man.

    • @Marshal

      I wouldnt expect you to support the Sandy Hook massacre, but the locals here, if they want to ‘support’ ‘the cause’ should do more than express it in social media.

      Likewise, when something happens close to your home, people act the same. They relegate their support to clicking icons on a computer screen.

  3. I think many people care enough to give money – except Sandy Hook isn’t something most people want to remember. Tragedies that kill adults are bad, but when children are killed it triggers an emotional response most would rather never feel again. The mere name “Sandy Hook” makes me cringe. 20 little kids. I have children the same age. I don’t want to remember that awful day.

  4. In Jan of ’93, we had the Brown’s Chicken Massacre where 7 were murdered during a robbery of the store. I don’t recall this kind of reaction from the community (it was just a couple weeks past Christmas, after all), but as each of us grieves in a different way, I would assume the same goes for entire communities. Since two suspects were tried and convicted, there hasn’t been much in the way of remembrance for that event and the victims (aside form personally thinking of it every time one drives past the location where the store once stood).

    Of course, there was no Facebook at the time. But the father of one of the victims thought a good idea would be to tear the place down and replace it with some kind of memorial so that people could reflect on what happened that day. Sounds like a Saturday afternoon, right? I thought that was a bit much, even from a grieving father. But like I said, people grieve in different ways, and tragedy impacts each of us differently.

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