I think we all remember September 11th like it was yesterday. Where we were when we first heard of it. The pang in our gut when we saw the first footage of the towers falling down.
I was pregnant with B, and more than anything I was overwhelmed at the thought of bringing a new innocent child into such a cruel, unforgiving world. I cried anguished tears wondering what kind of future he would have on an Earth filled with so much hate and violence.
But you know what? When he was born a couple months later, and I looked into his sweet amber eyes...it was like his goodness canceled out all the bad. I brought something pure and wonderful into this world, and it meant something.
When he was born, I wasn't worried anymore. I looked at his precious pudgy, dimpled hands and said, "I did that."
Terrible things happen. They've been happening for what must be forever...murderous rampages are the norm in other parts of the world. These days they are getting closer to home...which unfortunately makes it all so much more real.
And scary. And heartbreaking.
It is the sad reality that we don't have control over those big bad things. Almost all of the time, it is completely out of our hands.
But it is important to remember, that in our houses, our hands are all that matter.
Today I watched my boys from the doorway of their bedrooms. One was doing his homework, one was studying for his Stats final, one was writing his book report, and the last was reading a book on his kindle. They were peaceful. They were trying.
And I looked at them and said, "I did that."
Why do horrible things happen?
Why did that man shoot those innocent, pure, sweet angels in Connecticut?
I don't know why...and debating gun control isn't going to answer that question or take away what happened. Sure it is healthy to have conversations, and it is for sure a good thing to wonder how we can make this country better...
But the bottom line is, change starts with us. Not with us telling other people what to do...it needs to start smaller than that.
It needs to start in our own hearts.
In our own homes.
Our actions. The actions we take every day. The example we are. The good we are trying to put out in the world...
That is the kind of thing that can change history.
We need to do more looking within and ask ourselves, what have we done to make our home, our neighborhood, our school, our city a better place?
Have we shown love to others?
Have we shown understanding and kindness to those that are different than us?
Have we tried to reach out?
I'm guilty of walking past uncomfortable situations and pretending they aren't happening. I need to reach my hand out more often. The change starts with me.
Yes the world is scary, yet I feel as though we are entering a period of enlightenment. I think everyone is waking up and saying, "Hey...we are getting tired of the hate and the violence. It isn't ok."
But as scary as this world is...if we spent more time looking within ourselves...changing ourselves...well I think it would make a bigger impact than we think.
Mahatma Gandhi said, "We must become the change we want to see."
Small things are turning out not to be so small after all.
A smile to a stranger can change everything.
A hug to a classmate that seems to be suffering can change everything.
A call to an old friend could change everything.
"I love you," could change everything.
We need to stop judging who needs the help...and just start helping. One human being isn't more worthy than another. What a person does with what we help them with isn't our concern. Our only concern should be trying to do good. Kindness is contagious. It will catch on if we all try.
Pointing fingers is getting old. What is that saying? If you point your finger at someone there are three fingers pointing back at you? Fighting about who or what is at fault is like a cat chasing its tail.
Let's start at home.
If we can't change our own hearts, what chance do we have in changing others?
And if we must point fingers, let's make it a goal everyday to point our finger at something good...
And make it our business to say, "Hey...I did that."