I am hesitating to look at social media after this mass shooting because I know that the same things will be there; Too many guns, not enough guns, too many foreigners, people need Jesus, we need to elect different people, pray for our country,… etc. etc. The truth is, I have my own opinions about what should be done to help prevent senseless killings, but that is not what this is about. Shouting my opinion is not going to change anything. Once again, not choosing to take action won’t change things either. I make the choice this time not to take the easy road.
The things I have learned from my own laziness are;
-It is easier to hate “those people”
-It is easier to find differences rather than similarities
-It is easier to try to be right than to listen to someone else
-It is easier to stay in a comfort zone than to reach out and meet someone new
-It is easier to cast blame than to think about what is in our control.
-It is easier to think that it is someone else’s problem to solve
-It is easier to change the channel
-It is easier to separate ourselves from the victims because you imagine they are vastly different from you
-It is easier not to think about the victims’ loved ones
-It is easier to think that it won’t happen here
-It is easier to blame the leaders for decisions made
-It is easier to think that this will be the last time
In the face of this tragedy I will be different, I can’t expect the world to change if I don’t change too, and I invite you to join me. I challenge you not to take the easy road this time, I encourage you to meet hate with love, to stretch yourself, if for no other reason than hate and blame has become terribly boring. So when you are thinking I just wish there was something I could do, look around. There are needs if you want to see them.
I want to do something to make someone feel valued. We have that power, to make someone else feel like they matter in this world and they are seen. How often I dismiss this and don’t take the opportunity.
I am certain that you have better ideas of how to accomplish this but here are a few that came to my mind. Invite that foreign neighbor over for dinner. Mow the elderly man’s yard. Go onto an acquaintance’s baby registry and buy something nice. Write a note to someone you know is hurting even though you have no idea what to say. Take a friend’s toddler on a walk so they can catch a nap. It doesn’t have to cost money, and it doesn’t have to take your whole day.
The only way to fight the ugliness out there is by brightening our little corner of the world. Do it in the name of love because Lord knows, there is already plenty of hate. Hate isn’t working, let’s try something different.