I’ve been thinking a lot about our society this summer, as I’m sure you have too. There has been unprecedented devastation that rips our hearts out over and over again. On top of that, it seems society as a whole would rather see a train wreck and get out some pitchforks than watch someone make a positive impact on the world.
My heart aches for the atrocities that continue to occur. Gone are the ‘good old days’ in which we walked ourselves to school or played until the street lights came on, our parents clueless to our whereabouts. My daughter, at the tender age of 6 years old, has a firm handle on what a ‘lock down’ is at school and why it’s performed. That in and of itself makes me want to cry. She does not have the same opportunities at freedom I had. I can easily hang my head in despair, but I try to focus on the realization she has different opportunities than I did.
She has the opportunity to live in a society where men can marry men and women can marry women. For her entire life, she has had an African American as the president of her country and perhaps a WOMAN for the next four. I remember growing up being told I could be anything I wanted. Not that I wanted to be the POTUS but I sure as hell knew that wasn’t reality. And now it is. She knows people with various mental and physical capabilities, diverse ethnic backgrounds and those that practice different religions. And she’s friends with all of them. A child instinctively chooses love. A child also keenly observes what we choose.
Amidst the damage that’s been done, there are countless acts of kindness and compassion that we never hear about. I’m no Polly Anna; I know that there are unspeakable things that happen on a daily basis and they must be dealt with. I also know I am not qualified to speak on such matters because they are entirely too complex.
I do know firsthand that after a tragedy, there can be hope. There can be progress made that is even more beautiful than ever imagined. It’s easy to crawl under the covers and wish for the way things used to be. But what if all of the tragedies are used for something better than we can envision? Years from now, our grandchildren could look back at us and realize we were the generation that changed it all for the better!
How can this possibly happen? Instead of saying something, can we really DO something? I believe we have an incredible opportunity presented to us daily. This opportunity however small, is powerful.
Fundamentally, we choose love or fear in our thoughts, words and actions. Fear guides us to paths in which we are suspicious, malicious, vengeful and angry. A mob mentality is created; wanting to hand down justice no matter the cost. Sometimes, it can be easy to choose fear and its companion, hate. It’s like a pesky itch that you scratch and the more you scratch it, it becomes sore. Fear festers and it’s cyclical; deadly to you and those around you.
Love, on the other hand, guides us down paths of thoughtful gestures, nurturing relationships, mercy and of course, hope. It’s cyclical as well, but because it inspires others, positively impacts your personal relationships and gives you optimal health.
Like anything, both love and fear become habitual when practiced on a daily basis.
Which sounds better to you?
Remember, our children (our own kids, kids we teach, younger siblings, nieces, nephews, neighbors, etc.) notice everything. Let our thoughts, words and actions today and every day radiate love. Then perhaps, love will be our lasting legacy.
Teri Foltz says...
This is insightful and beautiful as s well written. My favorite lines : “A child instinctively chooses love. A child also keenly observes what we choose.”
July 30, 2016
Beautiful Liz! Thank you for sharing this and your gift with words. Love this!
July 29, 2016
You are an eloquent writer.. Thank you for reminding me to make a conscious choice each day to love…..
July 28, 2016
bob & Patricia zielinski says...
Liz a beautiful message ! Thank you for sharing and thank you for Bill.
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