I wrote this post five years ago on my social media page, and it still holds true today:
“I am a Navy Veteran, will remember those who have fallen until the day I die, and can’t begin to imagine the sense of loss for their families. I don’t watch 9/11 television revisits, don’t listen to them on the radio, and don’t spend one day each year feeling sad over what has happened, while doing nothing the other 364. Instead, I live 365 days of the year working to make a positive change in the world that caused the fallen to leave us in the first place. How are you changing the world?”
I write this post today, because my heart is in turmoil and my head can’t make sense of it all. I’m emotionally raw and feeling such empathy for those in pain in the world. And, my friends, it isn’t because today is a day that we honor thousands who have fallen prey to hate.
It’s because of every one of the 365 days of the year that even one of us fails to move above and beyond hate, judgment, gossip, or contempt for even one other human being.
My social media feeds and groups have been bombarded with posts filled with the above emotions, and like you, my heart cries out for the anger and hatred to stop so we just STOP TEARING EACH OTHER DOWN.
This week, I’ve witnessed a baby’s seizure; felt the heart-wrenching empathetic pain of a father in an adjacent neighborhood having to deal with leaving his toddler in the car in the Florida summer heat, only to find the child deceased in the vehicle seven hours later; and I have also struggled with my own feelings of mortality in a situation that I can’t just “power” my way through.
I feel the depths of #BreneBrown’s movement over a lack of human empathy, and it seems that we aren’t learning how to or teaching our kids to be empathetic creatures, but instead are perpetuating the system of tearing each other down – and not to make ourselves feel better, because let’s be honest, it feels terrible when we make another person feel bad – but to have company in our own misery.
So I ask you – NO! I beg you – to look at your world, your thoughts, and your behaviors today. If you really want to honor those who have fallen… if you REALLY want to make sense of the chaos and violence… start by pushing outward a light of love and acceptance for not only yourself, but also your neighbors.
Because, if you don’t start pushing your beautiful light outward, then the darkness can more easily push its way into you. We must fight this together as a society. We must learn to LOVE OURSELVES first, and then we can more easily love our neighbor.
Are you willing to be the change you wish to see in the world? Are you willing to push through it? Because if not, as you point your finger outward at all of the things wrong with this world and the people in it… remember this: There are three fingers pointing right back at you.
It’s time to STEP UP and take ownership of our lives and our world. Isn’t it time you showed up?