“Love and good will always outweigh evil” say Orlando parents
“I hope for a better future for my kids as I cannot let them live in fear. I will continue to teach them to be kind and to help those in need.”
What most news reports surrounding the Orlando shooting seem to focus on are the tragedy’s particulars: who the killer was, who were the targets, how many people were wounded, how many were shot dead.
Faces of grieving friends and family are the focus of camera lenses. Speculations about the gunman’s motives are given vent to. Talk about religion and terrorism fill the airwaves.
Even the sympathies and kind words of celebrities and public figures’ recalls, one way or another, the horror of it all.
And no one can blame them.
The carnage that occurred at the Pulse nightclub was horrifying on so many levels, and no one—their religion, sex, or gender notwithstanding—deserve to experience such a nightmare.
But for those parents closest to the scene of the crime, they choose not to zoom in on the bad aspects of the incident but on all the love and positivity and good that can be gleaned from it.
For mother-of-three Tracey Levy-Smith, concern will always be a part of being a parent.
“I'm worried about my older daughter's safety as she sits in her classes at college, and I'm worried about my youngest daughter when I drop her at the mall with her friends. There's never a time when I don't have an inkling of concern for their safety when I'm not there," she said in a Today story.
But despite the shooting that occurred in her hometown, she says she will continue to let her children live their lives. “For me, there's really no other choice but to teach my children that being careful is important but living a life in fear isn't really living at all.”
For mother-of-two Cindy Shepherd, who works at a Florida Hospital where many of the gunshot victims were treated, she still has hope for a better future.
“You can't help but think, What is this world coming to?” she said. “But I have hope. I hope for a better future for my kids as I cannot let them live in fear. I will continue to teach them to be kind and to help those in need.”
For Renee Perelmuter, whose 19-year-old daughter identifies as bisexual and have friends who frequent Pulse, she is not concerned at all for her daughter’s safety.
“We live in a world right now in which I am proud to be raising my children,” she said. “They go to middle and high schools where people are very accepting of who they are. I wanted to give blood yesterday and couldn't because the lines were so long with everyone else wanting to give.
“I choose to be hopeful and to believe that while there is always going to be evil, the love and the good in the world will always outweigh that evil."