I need to get some things out of my head, maybe this is the way to do it. Since the San Bernardino shooting attacks I’m not sleeping much, am watching way too much news on television, and my thoughts are never far from trying to figure it all out. Of course it can’t be figured out because I’ll never know all the details and really, I don’t want to know them. It can’t be figured out because it’s beyond my comprehension to think of people, parents even, standing in front of other people and shooting them dead. Can’t imagine, don’t want to. It will never make sense.
All I can do is decide how to live on from this point. The world as I have known it is now different. More violent, more divided, more frightening. And on the other hand, because I follow Humans of New York, Upworthy, and other groups, the world is more loving, more connected, more beautiful.
So what can I do? Me in my little life. What can I do? That has been uppermost in my mind. And what I keep coming back to is that all I really can do is keep myself as clear and healthy as possible, work through my own shit, take responsibility for my own shortcomings, and show up all the time that I possibly can. Make eye contact with people, smile, say a kind word, help when the opportunity arises. I can go out to dinner, shopping, not avoid being in public for fear of attack. Open my heart, work on my own prejudices, that is what I’m trying to do.
On a lighter note, leaving the corner grocery store I gave a banana to a homeless man that I see often in the neighborhood. As I was driving away I saw him hold it up to his ear and talk as if he was on the phone. Ha!
Someone very close to me has a different reaction. He talks about how everyone should be armed so that when something like this happens anyone can take action to stop the shooters. He doesn’t want refugees coming into this country. He thinks a place in the Middle East should be found where refugee camps could be built. I always start an argument when he expresses these views which are totally opposite to mine. Today I realized this is his way of coping with the stress of what is going on and I have to back off and allow him to deal with it in his way without my intervention. If he wants to talk about it going forward I’ll try my best to explain my views calmly and not make fun of his views. It’s going to be hard but I’m going to try.
This is a hard world to live in right now. I just keep coming back to love, that it’s the only power larger and stronger than all this violent chaos. My prayer is for God to use me and to help me be aware when an opportunity arises for me to help, to shine my dim little light.