Jacai Colson was twenty eight years old. A very young man doing his duty as a police officer. Four years he served his  Landover, Maryland community serving and protecting with his presence. He was murdered yesterday for no reason. A man came up to Officer Colson’s police station and opened fire. There was no announcement. There was no reason given. Neither men knew each other. Down went Officer Colson. His fellow colleagues stormed out of the station and opened fire on the gunman wounding him but sparing his life.

That is it. Life goes on.

Another officer shot dead. Another man serving us and protecting us gunned down. His family, friends and co-workers left in bewildered shock. He is no more on earth.

Twenty eight is so young. He lived with purpose. He woke up everyday to serve people like you and me, regardless of your opinion of him. What do we call that kind of service? I believe we call that unconditional love.

Do you know what that is? Unconditional love? It’s when you love without expecting to be loved in return. It is a wisdom of the heart. An understanding that loving your brother and sister keeps us young at heart and sends ripples of good energy across a community. Those who get this lead the rest of us. Those who move in to this understanding also start to lead.

Officer Jacai Colson was human like you and I looking to do what he could from his position to keep order in his community and hold the front line of righteousness so that our children can safely go to school and anarchy doesn’t take hold in our streets. Doing a thankless job in a world that sometimes seems not to value officers much is very hard. Especially doing it year after year. We have heard of singers who call these men and women ‘pigs’ in their songs and this attitude has influenced younger generations to show no respect for them.

Just this weekend, my oldest son asked me what I think of the police. I told him twice in front of his siblings that they serve and protect all of us. They are the real super hero’s. It may seem on a ‘regular’ day that they are just sitting in their cars going around the town and city blocks doing nothing, but there presence is needed. We need to have people who put their life on the line to keep the rest of us safe. There ARE people who do not play by the rules and are willing to gun someone else down in cold blood.

As local communities and as a nation, how do we respond to these senseless acts of violence? How do we prevent them? What can we do so that people do not grow up thinking that using a gun is a viable way to act out their inner turmoil? How can schools respond in ‘arming’ children with the right kinds of emotional intelligence strategies and methods to help them cope with their possible misdirected angst? Is this a community issue?

As a an educator I use role-playing as a way to get many of my students to entertain multiple perspectives and be experienced in knowing how to gracefully deal with challenges as they arise. Can schools and parents be more proactive in teaching younger generations how to cope better?

I believe more can be done and more has to be done. We cannot pass the buck anymore. Officer Jacai Colson’s life was precious. It is not everyday we have men and women who think of taking on jobs that put their lives on the line. We need to respond to these acts of violence with a thoughtful approach that thinks preventively with foresight so that we change the culture that allows for these situations to occur.

How many Officer Colson’s have to be gunned down before we collectively begin to awaken to the fact that we all need better coping skills?

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