There isn’t much to say that doesn’t sound hollow and empty in my ears.
Another shooting, this time at a church, the flag at half-mast again, the continued thoughts and prayers sent out and posted on social media. I am angry and sad. I am feeling defeated but not giving up.
It feels hollow and empty because I think what everyone wants is action and we want action to be big and loud and very dramatic but the truth is, most movements are quiet and grassroots.
So I have been upset and depressed for a few days and really wasn’t sure what I was going to write about because it’s during times like this that I struggle to find the good.
I look at my little girl and her smile provides a bit of relief, along with realization of the responsibility that we are faced with which is to teach her about loving everyone. EVERYONE.
When does that start? NOW. Like everyone she meets is an opportunity to be loved by her and have them love her. She smiles at everyone and I love that. She wants to look at everyone and is curious about everyone and I really hope that continues because to watch her I have hope for the future.
But back to the rest of us, living with this now and wanting to take action.
It’s pretty simple, love your neighbor. Part of loving your neighbor is knowing them.
So get involved in your community- I have a few organizations that I have been digging into locally here in Austin.
These are just a few – I implore you, do not stop at reading the sites, actually sign up to learn more and volunteer. If you are a parent, get involved with your kid’s school to find out what you can do to help and be involved. If you are a teacher, talk to your administrators about joining efforts with some of these groups.
If you are not a teacher or a parent but know a teacher or a parent, talk to them about what they are doing. Find someone who disagrees with you and ask them to tell you what they believe and why they believe it. Listen and try hard to understand. If you don’t, say something like, “Thank you for sharing with me.” Then, really think about what they said and look for things that unite you to that person, not divide you. It’s incredibly easy to find points to disagree on, do the work of finding the thing that you can agree about.
If you are not in Austin, reach out to your local community and find out what exists. If it doesn’t, figure out what it takes to start it. Why not you?
DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING, even a conversation like the one I described above, can save a life.
Think about that.