We didn't need another reminder of how vulnerable all of us are as we go about our daily lives. Yet it came in the form of a horrific shooting Monday in Virginia, bringing home the question once again of what we can do to protect ourselves and our families.
Unfortunately, there will never be a way to guarantee the safety of the people we love. The events of Monday and, much closer to home, a murder-suicide in Carson City on Thursday, illustrated that point all too well.
But there is something we can and must do ... build a strong community that offers support for each other and help for those who need it. The stress of our lives is too much for some to bear alone.
And how do we build better communities? By getting involved. For many, that will mean getting involved in community and school organizations working to solve drug and violence problems. For all parents, however, it should mean getting involved in the lives of their children, asking questions and encouraging them through life's challenges, failures and successes.
Another way to build a strong community is to get to know the people in your neighborhood. You can do that on your own or take part in "Get To Know Your Neighbor Day" on Saturday, June 23, by hosting a pot-luck, block party, or coffee klatch. For more information on that Northern Nevada effort, call the Conscious Community Campaign at 721-3287 or visit the Web site www.itstimreno.org.
Will doing these things protect us from the kind of violence we see in today's headlines? Perhaps not. But they will help us feel safe and happy in our neighborhoods. Living in fear is no life at all.