My tears are not enough. They do nothing to alter a staggeringly sad reality, a reality so terrible that a seasoned police officer who was one of the first responders to Newtown's call for help, walked away with tears in his eyes, saying "my soul is stained."
Prayers are not enough. Any god capable of hearing and responding to such prayers would never have allowed the events to happen in the first place.
Public policy debates are not enough. Gun control, mental health care...yes, we need to talk about these things. But how does that change the memory of a parent's riven, tear-stained face? It cannot.
As a father, who has always regarded his primary duty to be the defense of his children, I could do nothing to alter those childrens' fates, nor that of their teachers. As a doctor who has always striven to be my patients' SWAT team against disease, I am powerless against the gunman's destruction.
Yet this situation demands some response, some thought, some act that, to the extent that a middle-aged chiropractor in podunk Connecticut can effect any change, will constitute my response to the abyss.
And this, in my very small, very teeny-tiny way, is what it is going to be. I call it the "26 for 26."
Between now and Dec. 14, 2013, I'm going to commit 26 acts of random kindness. They won't necessarily be big things -- I won't be sending any random kids to Harvard -- but they will be, in their own small way, meaningful. They will be acts of opportunity -- if I see a chance to help someone, I will. One act of kindness for each one of the victims, large and small.
I know that this is such a diminutive response in the face of such enormous iniquity. But it's all I've got.
26 for 26.
I hope you will join me.