On April 6 there was a shooting in West Englewood, at a baby shower, that resulted in 6 people, including two children getting shot. A 10-year-old girl was shot in the shin and an 8-year-old boy was shot in the chest and back and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital. This photo was released of the young boy in the hospital, after receiving trauma care.

I look at this picture so pleased that another mother didn’t lose her son to gun violence. So pleased that the universe gave this little boy another day. Yet, I am so torn over this picture of an 8-year-old with thumbs up because he gets to live another day.

Thumbs up because he was shot in the chest and didn’t die. Thumbs up because he gets to see his mother, family and friends again. Thumbs up because he gets to go back to school, learn and play. Thumbs up because in Chicago he didn’t die that day.  

So, I say thumbs down that our children are impacted daily by gun violence.

Thumb downs that we don’t look at why we have communities with little to no children killed and compare them with communities that lose so many children that we lose count in a summer.  

Thumbs down because we know that poverty and disenfranchisement drive community violence.

Thumbs down because we know that shame, isolation, exposure to violence, and not being able to meet one’s economic needs leads to individual violence.  

Thumbs down because we are not in outrage that our Chicago is not investing in communities that need us.

Thumbs down because the people that can stop this outrage are living in safe communities.  

When those people stand up and demand that all children matter, we can and will co-create a new world where all our children grow, develop and become part of a shared humanity, this is something that I can give a thumbs up to.