“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight with no vision.” -Helen Keller
Being a mom to my son Max, a loving boy who fills my heart with love and laughter, and the godmother to the sweetest little girl anyone has ever met, has me loving and celebrating life on a daily basis. I feel as if I am the luckiest woman alive to have two beautiful kids to spend my days and adventures with, and it’s because of them that I am forever changed and transformed. My life as I know it today is different compared to only a few years ago. I used to get excited for the weekend to get dressed up and go out with my friends. I loved going to parties, shows, dinner and dancing, but these days, when the weekend rolls around, I get excited to put my sweats on and hang out with my favorite five year old and my two dogs. Watching movies, cooking, coloring and dancing with my little one is now my new definition of living life and having fun. I live a life of hope and happiness because my life, my world, is filled with love. I have one child, one god daughter and two fur babies whom I love with all of my heart, a successful studio and a beautiful community of students and friends. I lead the life that I want on my terms. My life is fulfilling and peaceful, but at the same time I feel angry. I am scared, and it pisses me off! The world we live in is not the kind of world I want to live in, let alone raise a child. I’m scared to see what the future holds for my family and for yours.
The thoughts I have of my children’s future, of my students’ future, of humanity’s future, make me feel scared and pissed almost on a daily basis. This is not the world I imagined for my son. Every day I worry about his future…How do I keep him off of drugs? Heroin, pills, alcohol, it’s fucking scary. It’s as scary as school shootings, acts of terror, drunk drivers, bullies and pesticides. There is much to be worried about these days, and at times I find myself spiraling out-of-control.
During the dark times of my unraveling and downward spiral I turn to the amazing human beings of Ted.com. Here I open my mind and expand my heart to the people who remind me that the world is filled with more good than bad. When I watch a talk like this week’s soul motivation: The heartbreaking text that inspired a crisis hotline, I am reminded that there are many powerful, intellectual game-changers we can turn to for answers in times of crisis. There are ideas out there that need to be shared with the world, ideas that might just lead us to answers. The kind of answers that solve problems, not create more. We don’t have one or two choices, we have many. This new way of thinking, this new surge of hope, happens when I shut off the news, tune out the negative comments, shut down social media and choose to open myself to the innovative, courageous, outrageous and thought-provoking ideas of intelligent people.
The day after the terrorist attacks in Paris I felt heavy with grief and filled with fear; I was suffering and I had to find a way out. I was wallowing in my grief, and to make matters worse, I read a post from a yoga teacher that she was sick of the violence and was getting herself a gun. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Then pics like this one start to show up on my Facebook feed…
and this one…
And now, I am even more scared. Petrified would actually describe my feeling way better than scared. I am scared of people with limited thoughts and beliefs, people with kids and without, that live in the same country as I do. I am now scared of terrorist and my neighbors. Our country is filled with people who think that arming citizens is the answer, others who think we should pray, and then there are the rest of us who don’t know what to do. I am one of those people who pray for an answer, but I don’t believe that praying is all we can or should do. We can’t love/pray our way out of the mess that we are in. And we all know, including the people that fight for their right to carry a weapon, that hate never wins.
We do need to arm ourselves, but not with guns. We need ideas. Do we really want our kids to grow up in a country where they have to carry a gun to defend themselves? Do we truly believe that a civilian with a gun could take out an angry, combat trained terrorist? Or expect a school teacher, a person who is trained only how to educate the young, to take out an armed gunman? And, even if they could, or if they felt that they wanted to, should they have to? No matter if it’s in self-defense or protection for others, shooting and killing another human being has to forever change the person who shoots. Then today, the final push that prompted me to write this blog, is because of this next picture. A picture found on a Facebook page, a picture that showed up on my feed, that has 54 likes and over 20 shares in less than 12 hours. This shit scares me!
Do I want my child to grow up like this!?
Shut it off. My remedy for crazy is to tune out the noise and turn on Ted.
This weeks soul motivation talk has nothing to do with terrorist attacks or gun control, yet it has everything to do with both.
She proves that nothing is impossible, and that intelligence is more powerful than love and hate. That one person, one story, one text can change the world. She gives me hope. There is no answer or solution provided in this talk, but she does prove how powerful and useful data can be to solve crisis and facilitate meaningful change. As she says, “we can be better, and the world can be better.” I refuse to accept that hate is our answer, and I refuse to stand by waiting for love to work. There is a way. We have more options than love or hate. Let’s seek answers from woman like Nancy Lublin. Let’s begin our search for intelligence, innovation, data, science, faith, compassion, education and empathy to find the answer. Someone is going to figure this out. Maybe in our life-time, maybe not. But I’m not giving up. I’m going to do something…
Be inspired. Dosomething.org.