Jesse Lewis left a little note in his mom’s kitchen before his untimely death. Jesse scrawled a little something on the chalkboard in the kitchen right before he left for school on December 14th, 2012. It was only a few hours later that news broke about the lone gunman that came into the school in Newton, Conneticut and killed 27 people.
Jesse’s mom Scarlett was on the way home to collect clothes for her sons funeral when she noticed the enigmatic words on the chalkboard. This was the moment when you would least expect some kind of divine intervention in her life from her deceased son – but what happened next cannot be debated. What her son wrote in the kitchen will just make you cry.
“Nurturing Healing Love”
What was the source of these words? Were they a message from Jesse to his mom? Were these words even in his vocabulary? Did he write them the day off the shooting? It might be possible he sensed evil energy descending on the town, but that’s the stuff of myth and legend. It must have been that Scarlett had a loving home and her son understood the value of love as a social remedy.
Up until that point, Scarlett had vowed she “ would never forgive someone who hurt my family. NEVER.” She lived by this belief throughout her adult life; it was a rigid perspective that blinded her to a lot of the realities of life. She made a lot of assumptions about people who do bad things, casting them as ‘evil’ and not worth trying to rescue or remedy them.
Coming to terms with her outlook on the world in the event of her son’s murder lead to a startling change of heart.
“I knew immediately, if Adam Lanza had felt nurturing, healing love, this would not have happened,” she says. She realized that people who do bad things often do them because they lack the very substance she had to offer: strong parenting and nurturing support.
So she decided to make a change in the world that would help spread the message of love she found scrawled on her kitchen chalkboard.
“ I didn’t write this story. I didn’t start this story, but I can write the ending through forgiveness.”
She started the Jesse Lewis “Choose Love” Movement. The initiative has been a great success, with 170,000 members across 47 states and 17 countries.
The core of the curriculum is based on two core principles worth striving for, especially facing those in hardship: love and forgiveness.
She has developed a program called Social Emotional Learning (or SEL) that teaches kids to control their volatile behaviour and develop ways to channel empathy in relationships rather than anger.
The program has some strong academic backing. Studies indicate that learning these skills improves short- and long-term marks and emotional stability. There is also a stronger likelihood that children exposed to the program will avoid drug addiction.
Watch the video below to see and hear the message of this amazing program from the founder herself.