In a world that feels somewhat scary and hopeless, let’s be the light in the darkness, the calm in the storm.
My daughter flies off to Europe today to travel with the love of her life. They have been planning this trip for months. He has traveled often, this is her first flight off the continent. They are traveling through Italy, France and England. One of the places they will stay is Nice, France. In light of yesterdays senseless terror attack, my husband sat on the couch with her as they watched the news reports, and talked about how to stay safe, to locate embassies in case of emergency, if there was gunfire, or trucks, or bombs, how to navigate through a crowd and where to go. Instead of talking about the beauty of the trip, the wonderful adventures they have planned, he felt the need being a father and an ex-police officer to give some words of advice to keep her safe. It is apparently our new normal.
Our children are grown, 23 and 25. Both of them will travel this summer, and although they are young adults, they will always be our children. Am I nervous? Sure. I still want to wrap them up in a virtual bubble wrap to protect them from harm. But there is no protection from the craziness of the world. No, the only way to stop the madness is to reach out with love in your heart, a strong will, and a fearless but savvy way of being a positive force in our world. And that for my children it means venturing out into the world to see new places, meet new people, and learn from each other.
People want to close the door and hide, both in our homes and our borders. But I believe, now is the time to open doors, not with reckless abandon, because there are things seriously wrong in our world that need to be healed. In some cases, it means rising up and taking back our safety in whatever means necessary, as there are people who are bent on creating chaos and hate. To deny that would be foolish. But to close your mind, your heart, and let those that mean destruction the power to break your spirit, that would be the real tragedy.
So today, when you hear the hate speak, from our politicians, the media, even our friends and neighbors, be the light. Me, I am supporting my own children to go out into the world and spread their wonderful spirit. I will pray for safe travels for my kids, pray for those who lost their lives, their families, and for wisdom of our leaders to work together, not divide ourselves further.
I will pay close attention to the political rhetoric this week from both parties, because the next leader of the United States will have a prominent place and voice on the world stage, and we as citizens have the responsibility and the privilege to ask tough questions. I will be exploring a site http://letters2president.org/ to find a way to incorporate my students in the political process. Now is the time to listen, to speak, to act.