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This is not my world.  This is not my life.

I do not desire to hate.  I do not desire to hurt.  I do not desire to kill.  I do not own a gun.  I do not wish to.  I do not see someone who is different than I, and wish them harm.  I do not think I am better because I have light skin and blonde hair.

I do not have the emotional capacity to handle the world right now.

And I am scared. Are you scared?  I’m so scared.

I asked my mother today.  Through tears, I sent her this:

It’s so sad, mommy.  There’s so much evil.  Why?

She responded:

I truly believe it’s because children aren’t taught the value of life.  The life of a moth.  The life of a stranger.  

They aren’t taught respect.  Tolerance.  

You have to learn tolerance or you will absolutely explode.

But why?  But why have we stopped teaching our children how important and valuable and precious life is?  What do we benefit from doing so?  I don’t understand it.  It simply doesn’t make sense to me.  I can understand something – agree with it or not – as long as it makes sense to me.  I am quite good at stepping into another’s shoes and seeing things from their perspective, feeling their pain and motivation for doing things.  I have a great deal of compassion and empathy.

But I simply do not understand this.

I am scared.  Are you scared?  I am so scared.

When did we stop catching fireflies and setting them free?  When did we stop braking for squirrels running across our roads?  When did we stop saying ‘bless you’ to a stranger when they sneeze?

When did we decide that 2016 was the year that we would go back in time?

I teach my children that every life is good.  We rescue spiders when they find their way into our home.  It takes us 10 minutes to get the cup just right and the piece of cardboard pressed tightly enough against the bottom of it to keep the little guy inside, but we do it.  And we set them free outdoors.  We close our eyes when we hear a siren in the distance, and repeat these words that I have said to myself at every siren sound since I was a child:

I hope everyone is ok.  I hope everyone is ok.  I hope everyone is ok.

We hold doors open for people behind us – young, old, man, woman, white, black, brown, yellow, red, purple, green.  We hug each other every day.  We kiss each other every day. We say these words to each other everyday:

I love you.

Everyone has a voice now.  Today, every human has the ability to be heard on such a large scale. And you would think we would use that amazing power for good.  For love.  Because, we are all made of love.  I truly believe, in the deepest corners of my heart, that we are all made of love.  Sometimes it’s hard to feel it, but it’s always there.  In all of us, love is always there.  Even if you’re alone.  If you are alone right now, and are struggling to find the love in your life-

I love you.  Everything will be ok.  Do not be scared. 

I love you.

But instead of using this power we have of a public voice for good, I just see so many acts and words of hate.  I see and read more about violence and hate and shame than I do about peace and good and wander.

Emails about the need for more guns are being passed around, racial slurs are being tossed around like conversational baseballs, threats to our president are being tweeted by former US congressmen… Will the fact that we now have lost white police officers prove that WE DO NOT NEED MORE GUNS?  Is that what it takes for things to change?  Because losing the lives of others has not.  We continue to lose beautiful and innocent people, and the popular answer is still:  More Guns.  More guns will fix this.  More guns mean more defense.  NO.

NO!

More guns will mean more people will die.  If people are dying for no reason now, with the amount of guns we have now, then please explain to me how having more of them will help.  Please.  I was always pretty good at math, and I know that does not add up.  And also please explain it to my 8 year old.  And my 5 year old.  Because I have lost the ability to lie to them about how beautiful and kind people are.

I am scared.  Are you scared?  I am so scared.

What has to happen for our country to realize that more guns is not the answer?  How many more people have to die for us to realize that heavy steel intended to take away lives is not a good idea?

I feel like America needs a mother.  We need a mother from our mother’s mother’s generation to put her foot down and say

No more!  No more, America!  You have lost your privileges. You have proven that you are incapable of handling yourself as grownups, so I am taking away your toys and sending you to the chalkboard.

  1.  I WILL STOP HATING.  I WILL FIND THE LOVE AGAIN.  I WILL TREAT THE PEOPLE AROUND ME WITH RESPECT.  I WILL BE GOOD.
  2. I WILL STOP HATING.  I WILL FIND THE LOVE AGAIN.  I WILL TREAT THE PEOPLE AROUND ME WITH RESPECT.  I WILL BE GOOD.
  3. I WILL STOP HATING.  I WILL FIND THE LOVE AGAIN.  I WILL TREAT THE PEOPLE AROUND ME WITH RESPECT.  I WILL BE GOOD.
  4. I WILL STOP HATING.  I WILL FIND THE LOVE AGAIN.  I WILL TREAT THE PEOPLE AROUND ME WITH RESPECT.  I WILL BE GOOD.
  5. I WILL STOP HATING.  I WILL FIND THE LOVE AGAIN.  I WILL TREAT THE PEOPLE AROUND ME WITH RESPECT.  I WILL BE GOOD.

Why are we so angry?  Where is this anger coming from?  Have you looked around you?  Do it now.  Look outside that window right now. Look how much beauty exists out there!  That tree?  That tree is ALIVE, baby.  It has roots older than you, it has withstood many years of rain and sleet and dark and light and heavy loads pulling its branches down and often breaking, and it is ALIVE.

Take a breath.  Do you feel that?  That is LIFE, baby.  We have no reason to harbor such anger within us as long we decide to acknowledge, and to cherish LIFE.

I don’t care if you aren’t the one out there with the gun intending to use it for harm… if you’re someone promoting it- by voice or written word, or thought, then you should be ashamed of yourself.  I rarely make such bold statements here, but I’ve had enough.  YOU have ownership in the violence.  YOU have a part in it.  Because YOU believe it.  And belief is strong.

If you believe in the power of God and prayer, then you know how strong that belief can be, how it can manifest itself.

Belief of one thing cannot be given priority to the belief of another.

So, what can we do?  I do not have an answer.  I wish I did.  More than a lot of things, I wish I had a lot of answers to a lot of what’s happening around me.  If you’re reading this thinking I would provide a solution, then I am so sorry to disappoint you.

I am hurt and lost just like you are…  But I am here with love for you.

It’s all I have left.

It’s the one true thing I know- LOVE

We need to find respect.  And we need to find tolerance.

Or we are going to explode.

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