We should not have turn on the news every day to hear that babies, children, and grandparents being killed, regardless of where in the world the story come from. But we do. I guess the closer to our own life, the more a person takes notice-human nature I guess. It proves no where is safe. Not at a concert in Manchester or Paris or a night club in Orlando, the happiest place on earth, or a bike path in New York city or even running a marathon. A Christmas market and seaside beach, public transit stations provided a venues for terror. A person can't worship any religion in safety, because of hate- South Carolina, London, Alexandria, and even a tiny unincorporated community in rural Texas are no longer safe. A certain part of me carries a bit of fear for just sending my family off to school and work and driving on highways filled with anger and potential for road rage.
Yet, the percentage of likelihood that me and mine will be a victim is still minutely small. Daily families in the middle east, in volatile African countries, drug cartel ran countries in central America, this violence is the norm, and a high probability their life will be impacted by violence of some sort.This should too be thought of with such sadness and disheartened tears as those close to home. And for what? It is all so meaningless when you dive into the heart of why and from where inside the violence, hatred and anger comes.
What can I do? Globally, nationally, not much of anything. But just as all politics are local, all acts of kindness, empathy, understanding begin at self.
1. Hold back that bitter word, the aggression that comes out of my own mouth. This has been so tough for me under our current administration, but instead of joining in with the words of anger, I can speak my thoughts sincerely but without stirring a hate filled pot.
2. Speak up against injustice. Speak up against crime. Speak up for safety nets that help the most vulnerable survive.
3. Look for the rays of light when there is darkness and add another candle.We learned Las Vegas is not just a community of gamblers and good times, but a community that has true character and gave until they literally had no more blood to give, rested, and gave some more. There are candles being lit in the aftermath of these tragedies-hope and resilience are the candles.
4. Have true empathy for the plight of others. Withhold judgment when someone makes a "wrong" decision that impacts their life. Help them get over the hurdle, even if the hurdle was self placed. Would any shootings, assaults, suicides, have been prevented had the perpetrator received a response of support when they made bad choices, rather than abandonment? I don't know, but I'm thinking there has to be something to my theory,even if for only one person.
5. Use any position of power, authority, or strength to improve the lives of others, not just me and mine. Vote, our number one power in democracy, for candidates and resolutions that will work to improve communities not just foster wealth for a few. I'm sorry if you believe it, but nothing will convince me that trickle down economics benefit anyone but the rich at the top.
Take any of this for what it might be worth to you.Today, there is no presidential race and many communities have very little on the ballot, but double check-there could be issues you need to weigh in on. In my community we have school board candidates and a school levy. on the ballot. I'm gong to practice number 5 and make sure my vote is in.