Tuesday, December 18, 2012

When Tradegy Hits, What Can We Do?

In the aftermath of the Connecticut elementary school shooting, I've heard this over and over.

What can be done? What are we to do? What can I do?

And even more questions, I know plague people's hearts.
I can't imagine that there's anyone who has heard this story that hasn't been touched in some way. I've even read of people in other countries who have set up memorials to express their condolences and support. Imagine, all the way across the world, this little elementary school has impacted people.
Over the course of this weekend, I've also seen much debate going on about gun control, securing schools, providing better mental health services....

Still, in all the debate, I keep coming across the four words... What can we do?

I'm not even going to pretend I have an answer to any of these questions. However, I do have a basic belief that nobody is helpless. Nobody should discount themselves as being able to bring about change.

We each have a road to take in our lives. Where that road goes, is up to us.
Our choices. Our choice to live for the betterment of others. Or, our choices to live for ourselves. Even worse, our choice to hurt or hinder others from making their own life journey.

What can be done? Simply put, choosing the be the best You, that you can be is a big start. We can't sit by helplessly, wringing our hands, wondering if the world will ever change.

The CHANGE starts with us.

Who Are You?
Everyone has a purpose in this world. If you don't believe that, then you've bought into the great lie that is determined to convince you that you don't matter. Well, I refute that lie. Everyone has a purpose. Find yours. It's there. I promise.

And do what you're meant to do to the best of your ability.

In Lord of the Rings, there's I scene I have to pause at every time I watch that movie. It's when Frodo and the fellowship are traveling through the dwarf halls and the weary hobbit sits beside Gandalf for a short, yet very powerful conversation:

Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. 

We can't control the evil in this world, or the bad things that happen. We can't. We can only decide to make the best out of the time that's given us. To make the best out of our own lives. To choose to work for the greater good of this world, instead of letting our bad choices add to the turmoil, or to drag others down.

Julie Hedlund in her post - Guardians of Childhood,
Encouraged writers of the importance of their work. The need for us to write our best because:
"We who write for children are the ones who, with our words and our stories, provide children with hope, happiness, and empathy. When children face fear and hardship with us, it is cushioned by the covers of our books. We show children the world as beautiful and forgiving and glorious, even as it is sometimes cruel and treacherous. Each time a child sees him or herself in the pages of one of our books, we’ve touched the universal human spirit that lives inside of that child, and in all of us."
So for me, writing my best words, finding ways to comfort with my stories, is how I can fight back against tragedy. Is this a big feat? No. We are each a small part of a whole. If we all strive to do our best, at that little thing we have a passion for, wouldn't the overall result be positive?

President Obama, in his attempt to bring comforting words to the hurting families said this:  "For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on and make our country worthy of their memory."

I say attempt, because in light of what happened to those families, there are no words. However, I was encouraged by his challenge to "Make our country worthy of their memory."

 How? By doing our best, to do our best. It's that simple. Choose kindness. Choose love. And stand firm against what's wrong. Live your life to it's fullest. Don't be afraid. Don't let fear rule your steps. Find your passion and go after it with everything you have inside of you.

 Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? 
Ps. 94:16

Who? Will You?
Oh, I do hope so. 


Book News:
The Print version of Illuminated in now available at Createspace and Amazon

I know not everyone has an e-reader, and there are still some die-hard book fans. YaY for You! 

I haven't received my own copies yet, but I hear the cover is fantastic. I can't wait to see for myself. Soon! I have my nose plastered to my front door window when I'm not working. lol. Waiting, waiting, waiting....
Happy Journeys!

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