Where Do We Go From Here?

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In light of Sunday night’s events, I feel the need to write and get all of my thoughts out to make sense of what happened. It seems as though every year we go through the same old song and dance that highlights that what we’re doing now is broken, it doesn’t work. Last year, we saw Pulse Nightclub brutally attacked. The year before, San Bernardino was targeted. And Sunday, Las Vegas was the center of the most devastating shooting in US history. How is our leadership okay with this? How can we, as citizens, be okay with a gunman marching into an elementary school and taking the lives of 20 innocent children? How does “more people with more access to guns” help in this situation? How many times do we have to have this conversation, and how many more people have to die before we do something about it?

I’m not at all advocating for taking guns away (my household has two) , but I do think there should be more steps in place to prevent people who shouldn’t have access to guns from getting them. It’s harder for a woman to get an abortion than it is for someone to get a gun in this country: there’s a 24 hour waiting period, they must be made aware of adoption alternatives, as well as have only 400 clinics within the US to get it done. Of course, abortions aren’t a right written into the Constitution, so it’s not an apples to apples comparison, but it’s the best one I’ve got.

We need to open the dialogue and have this discussion. Advocates of less gun control, what are your thoughts? I am in no way excluding anyone from this conversation. Please, tell me what you think the right solution is, because no matter the side of the issue you stand on, we can all agree there is a problem. Now, how do we solve it?

To the victims of this senseless tragedy and their families: my heart goes out to every single one of you. To anyone who has lost someone, we are here with love and support. I understand that hearing those words are the last thing you want to have to hear, I know nothing will quiet quell the ache in your heart, know we hurt for you.

And to the legislature and leadership of this country: help us. Do something so we can stop being reactive in these situations. Let’s do something proactive. Please. Anything. Just a conversation will do for now.

 

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Living Life Compassionately

compassion

When was the last time you did something selfless? When did you last see the opportunity to do something amazing for someone other than yourself? For someone you did not know? Did you take it? There are countless ways we can support the lives of others and make their lives better. By bringing others up, doesn’t mean we bring ourselves down. We can all rise together.

The other day, Avery called me a bleeding heart. The definition of a bleeding heart is “a person considered to be dangerously softhearted”. (I won’t get into the reasons why he called me a bleeding heart because I don’t want this post to be about what specific things I’ve done in the past but rather what we can all do moving forward.) I don’t view myself like this whatsoever. I think about all the times that I could have done more to help whether the recipient would have been another adult, a child, an animal. When I see people out in the hot, Texas sun selling water to raise money for some cause or event, I want to buy it all. I have this constant, nagging need to help. In my mind, why should I have this nice car, sitting in air conditioning, with the ability to go down to the store and not worry about having more than enough money to buy myself food when I know others are doing their very best and are still struggling?

I’m privileged. I may not feel privileged every second of every day because we all have our own problems and bumps in the road, but when I sit down to really think about my life and how I’ve been brought up, I am very grateful for the life I have been born into. I didn’t ask to be born healthy. I didn’t ask to be born into a family that never had to struggle to put enough food on the table everyday. I didn’t ask to be born with the opportunity to go to college. But others who aren’t born healthy or who don’t have a promised meal everyday or who never had the opportunity to go to college, they also didn’t ask to be born with these problems.

No one asks for the life they’ve been given. This is the perspective we need to use when learning that we all have something to give. Whether it’s time or money or gratitude, we can all stand to show a little more humility in the life we have been handed. And we can all stand to show a little more kindness and understanding to one another. This world has more enough evil; we need to fight it with the love in our hearts.

(photo credit: Aaron Alexander, https://www.flickr.com/photos/asalexander/3190479939)