Thoughts on Terror, Peace, and Love

Whether it is the action of a gunman shooting into a crowd of concert goers or a man driving a truck into pedestrians, it is terror. It is terrifying. It is deadly. It makes me want to cry.  And, I want it to stop.

Terror comes in all shapes and forms. There are homegrown terrorists and those from other countries. People of all backgrounds have killed or harmed many people. Whether it is for religious reasons, being fired from a job, a mental illness, or any other reason, it is terror and has consequences for all involved.

Terror in any form leads to bloodshed, lost life, and people who will never be the same again. As a result of violence, people are severely injured, others have to live with survivor’s guilt, and we mourn our loved ones who have been lost. We often have a hard time moving forward.

A gunman firing into people gathered for a concert is just as horrific as cars being driven into crowds of people, or shots being fired at baseball games, or buildings being blown up, or planes flying into buildings, or people in schools, nightclubs, movie theaters, or concert halls being the targets of violence, or home invasions where the robbers kill someone.

So what do we do about it? How can we change things? How can we come together as a country to take care of the most vulnerable of us and protect our way of life? I am not sure but do know that something must be done. I feel for my son and his generation and what they are inheriting in this world, and frankly, it scares and saddens me.

As a society, we have become so divisive, so mean to each other, so intolerant, so hateful, we often lie without thinking, and jump to conclusions without all of the facts. When we act like that and cannot find a way to even listen to each other, how can we expect our children to do any better? We have turned into a world of terrible examples for our children.

Also, many adults don’t seem to care about the importance and sanctity of life. We call ourselves a certain religion but then don’t practice love, peace, forgiveness, graciousness, kindness, or truthfulness. We seem so lost as a society and I am saddened and troubled.  And I want to sit down and weep.

What happened to practicing the golden rule of treating others how we want to be treated? What happened to spreading kindness and love, instead of meanness and hate? What happened to knowing you can disagree with someone without them being your enemy? What happened to our common decency, respect for others, and civility?

What happened to teaching our children the difference between real and imaginary? That playing a game is not the same as a real weapon? The fact is that guns in the wrong hands do kill and/or hurt people. That bullet will strike a person who could die, have life-altering injures, such as paralysis, blindness or broken bones.

Cars hitting people or planes flying into a building are just as deadly and deliberate in the intention to cause harm. I know a little something about being hit by a car and let me tell you it gives me chills each and every time I hear about it.

I was run over in a parking lot with a car that was out of control. It was an accident and the car was going very slowly and three of us were injured. We all lived but things could have been so much worse. I am thankful every day that they weren’t.

I don’t mean to sound so negative or pessimistic, but these are things I am troubled about. I want Ian to grow up in a world where he can trust adults and believe truths. I want him to go out and do things without being scared or fearful of something happening to him. I want him to feel safe at night and know that he will be okay.

As his parent, I will do all that I can to keep him safe, comfortable, loved and listened to. My husband and I work together to ensure a good life for Ian, with lots of love, rules, discipline as needed, and structure.  And, a lot of fun along the way.

I just hope that other adults both in our community and on the national level can help us do the same. It does take a village to raise a child and I want our village to be better, to be more loving and more caring. I want us to help one another and work for the betterment of each other, not just ourselves. I want us to remember that our children need us to be examples of how to act and how to treat others.

Prayers For Our Country

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Wednesday.  I don’t know about you but I was bit stunned with the results of Super Tuesday.  A person who has been acting like a bully keeps winning.  And he keeps developing a larger and larger following.  His competition has now sunk to his level and that to me is also stunning.  I just don’t like what I am seeing.

Why are we a nation that seems to like insults and waits for more?  Why is it okay to ridicule those who are different from ourselves?  Why do we seem to be meaner and meaner to one another?  Why do we listen to words from those who want to lead us that we wouldn’t let our kids say? When did nastiness and hate take over? And why can’t these people discuss actual issues and stop insulting each other?

This election year is like nothing I have ever seen.  My grandfather who passed away in 1996 loved his Republican Party. He really liked President Reagan.  I think this year he would be shocked at the candidates who call themselves Republicans.  I have wondered who he would choose to vote for and I am truly at a loss.

During Reagan’s presidency he worked with Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill on programs that would benefit our country.  One was a Republican and one a Democrat.  Not perfect but they managed to work together and to compromise.  With President Obama, the Congress has been blocking everything he tries to do.  From day one, a few of them have purposely set out to have him fail.

I ask you, what good has that done for our country?  Why do we keep blaming Obama when Congress, in my opinion, is as much to blame since they aren’t doing the jobs they were elected to do?  Why can’t we realize that both sides are to blame?  Then we can start making real improvements and figure out a way to have both sides benefit.

Why can’t these officials who we elect have healthy debates and compromise?  When did those words become bad words and something we won’t tolerate?  When did it become wrong and awful to be friends with those who have different points of view than we do?  When did we stop being willing to listen to another side of the argument?  When did we decide that disrespecting others was okay?  I just don’t understand and it worries and saddens me.

I want to see leaders who my son can admire and respect.  I don’t want to have to keep telling him that he cannot act as these adults act.  I don’t want to have him and his generation grow up with believing that hate, intolerance, bullying, and put downs are okay.  Here is something that the elected officials or those running could and should take to heart.  It is something that Ian’s entire school says together each morning, right after the Pledge of Allegiance.

“We are here to learn with our school family.  There is a respect here that you can clearly see.  We are truthful, trustworthy, and listen actively.  Giving no put downs, I promise to do my personal best as I work and learn today and every day.”  These students are learning respect, responsibility, patriotism, teamwork, trust, and being kind to each other.  Isn’t that great?  I only hope and pray that we as adults can learn the same.

My hope and prayer for us as a nation is:

  • May we find a way to be kind again.
  • May we give no put downs and respect others.
  • May we listen to others and have healthy debates.
  • May we realize that compromise is a good thing.
  • May we all do our personal best and not work to sabotage others.
  • May we learn each day.
  • May we do no harm.
  • May we not bully, but instead be loving.
  • May we defend what we believe without tearing others down.
  • May we be examples for our children and not warnings of how not to act.
  • May we love others, even those we disagree with.
  • May we remember the golden rule.
  • And may we remember that we are all in this together.

I Am Stunned

writingHi and Happy Thursday.  I decided to write today about two people in the national media who have truly stunned me.  I am not going to use their names since I don’t want to spotlight them.  But by my description, you will know who I am talking about.  Please allow me a few minutes on my soapbox.

These two grown men are not good role models.  They are both crass, condescending, rude to women, and think they are entitled to whatever they want.  One is running for president and the other is a music mogul and part of a famous family.  Both say anything they want, act any way that they want, and continue to get away with it.

This presidential candidate keeps threatening to sue one of his competitors, doesn’t answer questions in debates, repeatedly talks about how great he is but then doesn’t demonstrate it, and calls people liars. And, he complains repeatedly about how he is treated.  To me, that is laughable since he has been offensive to almost everyone.

To this person, I say it is time to start practicing the golden rule and be respectful of all people, including your competition.  Also, it is time to grow up and realize that politics is tough and can be nasty.  I wish that it wasn’t and am sick of it, but sadly that is the way of today’s world.  As President, you have to do what you feel is right for the country, despite all of the people who disagree with you, who hate what you stand for, and who try to stop you at every turn.

Debates are supposed to be about the issues and telling the American people what the candidate can do to make his/her life better.  For me, my life isn’t nearly as bad as the candidates keep saying it is.  And America has always been great and will continue to be so.  So, I continue to wait to hear from all of them what they can truly do for our country.  That could be started by people on both sides of the aisle figuring out a way to compromise.

The other man who I am truly stunned by is one who has been asking for money and lots of it on social media.  Actually he has asked for $53 million for personal debt.  How do you accrue that much debt?  I cannot even begin to imagine.  What has that money been spent on?  Or is it a ploy for something?

The other thing that stunned me is that he had the nerve to question why a billionaire would give money to a hospital in a poor country and not to him.  Let’s think about that for a minute.  Did I hear that right?  Hospitals, food banks, drinkable water, sewer, shelter, and schools are needed throughout the world.  That is a real problem and many people are helping to improve those conditions.

To this man, I say first and foremost, stop spending money you don’t have.  That is basic for those of us in the middle class.  We can only spend so much and have to save to buy more.  We have to plan for large purchases, get qualified for loans, and then make those payments.  Secondly, I would say, get a job and work like the rest of us have to.  In order to earn money, we have to have jobs and do actual and real work.  And finally, pay attention to those around you and see what you can do to help others.  We could all do a better job of that, couldn’t we?

Another thing that this person said was that he wants to sleep with someone who is not his wife and that he made this artist famous.  Again, appalling behavior.  Is that an okay thing for an “artist” to say?  I think not.  To me, marriage is sacred and we are to honor and respect our mates.  This is not doing that, not even close.  As far as this other artist, she had some comments when she won her Grammy Award a few nights ago that were so eloquent and made her point.  She made it clear that it wasn’t this person who helped her get where she is, but instead, her hard work, her sticking to it, and her loved ones who were supportive and with her along the way.

Okay, so I have vented.   Now I am going to pray for both of them.  And, I am going to pray that we have compassion for others, that we again learn to respect and revere those who work hard in our society, those who help others, those who are kind and loving, those who teach our children, those who protect us, those who fight crime and fires to keep us safe, and those who have our backs.

We are all part of a neighborhood, a community, a city, a state, a country, a continent, and the world.  We are in this together.  May we remember to always be kind to one another, even those we don’t agree with or like.  And may we keep our egos in check.

Honoring Dr. King

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHappy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!  Today we honor the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. What a man he was!  He was an amazing speaker, motivator, and worked hard for equality and freedom for all people.  He and many others changed things and for that I am truly grateful.

As a former speechwriter, I know the challenge of writing words that will inspire and motivate others.  Dr. King had this skill beyond most. He was eloquent, moving, and called people to peaceful action.  I have learned so much from him, his words, and his mission in life.

It is amazing to look back 50 years and see how some were treated.  I have wept at movies I have watched that have brought it all to life and sat stunned that anyone could be treated so poorly.  I realize that there are still things that need changing, but great strives have been made.  I hope we can remember to be kind and loving to all people.

While there is still much to be done with relations between races, I am blessed to have a child who doesn’t see these differences in his friends.  He likes them for who they are, not what they look like.  His class at school is diverse and he knows and likes kids from many varied backgrounds.  I feel so fortunate for this.

May we always remember to be kind to one another, to love and not hate, to bear one another’s burdens, to not judge others, and to practice the golden rule of treating others as we want to be treated.

Some of my favorite quotes by Dr. King are:

  • “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
  • “Hatred paralyzes life; hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
  • “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
  • “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'”
  • “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
  • “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hatred cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
  • “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenges and controversy.”
  • “Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”
  • “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”
  • “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
  • “No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”

May you have a blessed day!

(Photography Note: This photo is of Ian and one of his dear friends. I didn’t want to post their entire faces in order to retain their privacy.  Hopefully you can still see the friendship of two close buddies.)