After Jokela Tragedy: Picking Up the Pieces

This morning Finnish flags are at half-mast in remembrance of the victims of the Jokela High School Massacre in Tuusula

The mourning flags are everywhere, sober reminders across the country of the horrific events of yesterday. The once proud flags which flew on happy State occasions, such as the liberation of Finland, now hang their heads in tears – rain-soaked and unmoving.

The heart-broken sadness is the watery eyes of every Finn. Like the flags, quiet reminders – 5 million in bereavement. There has not been such a public outpouring of grief over the large loss of life since the Asian tsunamis. Now the loss of the innocence of youth dents confidence that schools can protect youth.

It seemed like it was going to be a good year for Finland. So many happy international successes in trade, entertainment and sports. They seem trivial now. What good is success if you don’t have friends and family to share it with?

Now there is just shocked incomprehension at this tragic rupture in a social fabric which everyone believed was once incorruptible.

What happened in Jokela is not just a Finnish tragedy. It is an international disaster on a human scale.

We must all pull together. Identify causes, find solution and practically heal the tears in the psyche of human society.

Today, I go on a scheduled Finnish island retreat with Finns and overseas students. They will become international peace ambassadors. We will find solutions. They will be thinking about their families.

I would write more but I am already late in preparing for the long journey by land and sea. Interesting how I only started blogging again less than 24 hours before tragedy in Jokela.

Please send your best intentions and thoughts to Finland because Finland will be thinking not only about their own children but also children of the world. We are one global family now.

Suggested solutions from the retreat and your own comments will be included on this blog.

About Dave Oshana

Sharing awakening and enlightenment since June 2000
This entry was posted in education, Finland, Jokela, school, society, Spirituality, Youth and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to After Jokela Tragedy: Picking Up the Pieces

  1. Lia says:

    Hi Dave!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    I feel very sorry and deeply sad. What happened in Jokela is a serious warning sign not only to Finland but other countries too. It was very painful to hear children in Finland were not safe from its own people. Last few days I have asked myself why a young man had so much anxiety and discontentment and growing anger and why nobody noticed or interfered. Think what is going on outside is a reflection what happens inside no matter what country is concerned.

    Finland has a high self-destruction rate as Estonia and this is connected to depression – a kind of selfishness directed towards oneself. There are not enough sunlight and melancholy often rules. There are social norms in both countries, which favor individual success, wealth and money and that is in most cases the only measure of social recognition. There are cartoons, violent films on TV, computer games where children cannot unfortunately learn to respect life. And virtual world seems as real as the other world they are living every day.

    I have no remedy to suggest which will improve the situation at once, only wish every person asks some questions from himself or herself: do I pay enough attention to others, do I show my sincere interest and care, do I acknowledge children enough, do I respect life myself, do my children differentiate virtual “game” world from the one they are living and do they have ethical principles they can rely on, do I feel depressed and tired carrying all the adults and parents worries and responsibilities, do I put wealth and work at first place and let them affect important choices, do I usually watch aside and take no action to correct things etc.

    Feel that lack of light outside can be replaced and negativity can be reduced by warm heart, inner light (joy and happiness), attention (time) and understanding (differences). There needs to be trust and also control. I sincerely hope things go better, tensions in society will gradually ease and no fences to protect children would ever be needed in Finland or elsewhere.

    With compassion from Tallinn,

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