SHERMAN, TEXAS -- Many of us have heard before that just giving someone a smile, or taking time to listen to a friend, can make a difference in that person's life. A local psychologist says just those gestures could prevent someone struggling emotionally from reacting violently.
Austin College psychology professor Jill Schurr, Ph.D, says that to prevent tragedies like the Colorado theater shooting from happening in the future, a little empathy can go a long way.
"Just communicating that empathy that we understand as a fellow human that life is hard and give them just that little bit of support and acknowlegement can make a difference," Schurr said.
The shooting is being talked about around the world. Schurr says that it also should be discussed in Texoma homes.
"It's important for parents to, as honestly as they can, answer questions that kids have. Sometimes that means talking about things that make us uncomfortable," Schurr said.
Schurr says that when you do sit down to talk about the shooting, don't focus solely on why it happened.
"Rather than focusing on that 'why,' thinking about how can we move forward in a way that makes it less likely that something like this is going to happen again," Schurr said.
A Sherman brother and sister say their family already sat down to talk about the Aurora shooting.
"Just somebody wanted to do something bad," Alondra Ramirez said.
"That person just did it for no reason," Alonso Ramirez said.
Alonso says their conversation had an impact on him to be more kind to others, starting with his big sister.
"I'll be kind to this little girl right here," Alonso said, looking at his sister.
If you or someone you know might be in need of mental health support, Schurr suggests seeking help. Do a simple search engine search to learn about psychologists or psychiatrists in the area.