As a survivor of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in December of 2012, Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis has witnessed firsthand how dark this world can be. And while you can never outrun your pain or just “move on” from a tragedy of that magnitude, Kaitlin has learned that your tragedy doesn’t need to define you. While she had a tremendous amount of fear to work through after saving her entire first grade classroom from the shooter three years ago, she has emerged from the dark shadows of fear with a powerful message that she shares with graceful empathy. Kaitlin’s message in her book, Choosing Hope, is loud and clear: that while there will always be tragedy in the world, we have the power to choose hope in the midst of it. As Founder and Executive Director of “Classes 4 Classes”, a social network for students and teachers that promotes “compassion, caring, kindness, empathy, consideration, through active engagement,” Kaitlin is spreading light and giving back in a meaningful way. Her inspiring outlook reminds us that sharing our stories is profoundly empowering and can be a lifeline to those in the thick of tragedy themselves. Our pain connects us and reminds us that moving forward is possible when we choose to open up the blinds and let in the light. We hope you will join us for this week’s episode to hear how Kaitlin’s story teaches us that:
- Perspective is profoundly powerful.
- It is a choice to focus on hope, the good, and the positive in the midst of pain and evil.
- Although tragedy marks your story, it does not necessarily need to define you.
- Sharing our painful stories is empowering and healing because hearing about how someone else is choosing hope makes us believe we might be able to do the same.