I am writing this on Monday morning after the 6-12-16 Orlando shooting.
I am sick and sad of hate, guns, blood, tears, police sirens, pain, panic, and chaos. STOP.
This killing in our great country makes me want to get on the roof and scream, at the top of my lungs, STOP, just STOP.
Following is a poem I wrote several years ago, but it is still relevant; it puts blame and hope where it belongs – in ME…and YOU.
We cannot continue to pass the buck and point a finger.
If we each make the space we occupy more loving and peaceful, kindness and goodness will grow.
Peace begins with ME
“Peace begins in all of us,
“Each of us, I say.
“Not just he or she or them,
“But, me and you – today.
“If I could really learn to love
“Myself and who I am.
“Then gifts of peace and kindness
“Would flow from me – to you – to them.
“If you would do the same, you see
“Plus – he and she and them.
“Just imagine how our world could change.
“And it all began with me – not them.”
Peace does begin with ME and YOU.
We are NOT innocent victims. We contribute to acceptance and tolerance in our homes, at the dinner table, work, church, restaurants, etc.
Just this week, a man said to me, “She is queer, and I can’t stand them people. They are the cause of everything evil!!!”
This man was wrong, unin-formed, and hate sparked in his eyes.
I was also wrong. I said nothing and did not leave.
While riding in a car, a woman said to four passengers, “She has a big fat N_ _ _ _ A_ _.”
She too was wrong, rude, showed her ignorance, and thought she was funny or cute.
I did what was right, and let her know I did not approve of or agree with her racism. I received immediate criticism from her and others in the car.
Hate is complicated and complex, and it will not be fixed from the top down.
Healing can begin with each of us practicing and speaking zero tolerance for elitism, racism, and violence.
We cannot control what others think, say, or do.
We still have freedom to choose our thoughts, words, behavior, and the company we keep.
Peace does begin with US.
Until the next time: Live while you live!
(Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of My Clients…My Teachers, and the blogger and encourager of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.)
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